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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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Thursday 29 July 2004
Francis Galton (1822-1911)
Francis Galton (1822-1911)

Francis Galton 

In this week's Material World Quentin Cooper explores the mind of one of the great Victorian polymaths. Francis Galton. He was an explorer, inventor, psychologist anthropologist and statistician. An obsessive counter and measurer he turned tea making into a theoretical science and even created a beauty map of the British Isles.

But his scientific vision had a darker side as he took his ideas about inheritance to their extreme with his eugenic vision of society. 

Quentin is joined by Martin Brookes, author of Extreme Measures the Dark Visions and Bright Ideas of Francis Galton and by Dr Joe Cain, senior lecturer in history and philosophy of biology at University College London to discuss Galton's scientific legacy and the origins of modern human genetics.

Frozen Ark

Thousands of animals are expected to become extinct in the next 30 years - up to a quarter of all mammals and a tenth of birds. The Frozen Ark Project aims to collect, preserve and store frozen DNA and tissue samples from animals in danger of extinction for use by scientists in the future.

Quentin Cooper talks to Professor Phil Rainbow, Keeper of Zoology at the Natural History Museum and professor Alan Cooper, director of the ancient biomolecules group at Oxford University about which animals will be stored and how this frozen library will store information about an animal's genome and tell scientists of the future about its unique evolutionary history. 

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