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About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot

About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


ESP Digital Book

Natural Inheritance

Francis Galton


An extensive on-line collection, providing a biography, Galton's collected works, and more.

The Francis Galton Papers

A collection of digitized resources maintained by the Wellcome Library (part of the Wellcome Trust)

A Diagram of Heredity

Starting just a few years after Mendel (and also working with peas), Galton carried out a series of well-received studies that resulted in his Ancestral Law of Heredity, summarized diagrammatically in this brief communication. Galton's "Law" was so firmly established in some circles, that many adherents did not accept Mendelism until 1918, when R. A. Fisher showed that Galton's Law was in fact a natural consequence of Mendelian inheritance for polygenic traits.


Sir Francis Galton was an English Victorian statistician, progressive, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. He was knighted in 1909. Galton produced over 340 papers and books. He also created the statistical concept of correlation and widely promoted regression toward the mean. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )