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Sir Julian Sorell Huxley (22 June 1887 – 14 February 1975) was an English
evolutionary biologist Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes ( natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the Biodiversity, diversity of life on Earth. In the 1930s, the discipline of evolutionary b ...
,
eugenicist Eugenics ( ; from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
, and internationalist. He was a proponent of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century modern synthesis. He was secretary of the
Zoological Society of London The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide and their . It was founded in 1826. History On 29 November 1822, the birthday of , "the father of modern zoology", a meeting held in the in Soho Square led by R ...

Zoological Society of London
(1935–1942), the first Director of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
, a founding member of the
World Wildlife Fund In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the worl ...
, the president of the
British Eugenics Society British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependenc ...
(1959-1962), and the first President of the
British Humanist Association Humanists UK, known from 1967 until May 2017 as the British Humanist Association (BHA), is a charitable organisation which promotes secular humanism and aims to represent "people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beli ...
. Huxley was well known for his presentation of science in books and articles, and on radio and television. He directed an Oscar-winning wildlife film. He was awarded UNESCO's
Kalinga Prize The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an award given by UNESCO for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to lay people. It was created in 1952, following a donation from Biju Patnaik, Founder President of the Kalinga ...
for the popularisation of science in 1953, the
Darwin Medal Image:Charles Darwin aged 51.jpg, Charles Darwin, for whom the award is named The Darwin Medal is awarded by the Royal Society every alternate year for "work of acknowledged distinction in the broad area of biology in which Charles Darwin worked ...
of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by Charles II of ...
in 1956, and the
Darwin–Wallace MedalImage:Darwin-Wallace medal.jpg, The Darwin–Wallace Medal The Darwin–Wallace Medal is a medal awarded by the Linnean Society of London for "major advances in evolutionary biology". Historically, the medals have been awarded every 50 years, beginni ...
of the
Linnaean Society The Linnean Society of London is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discipline, prof ...
in 1958. He was also
knighted A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some ...
in that same year, 1958, a hundred years after
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
and
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution throug ...
announced the theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1959 he received a Special Award from the
Lasker Foundation The Lasker Awards have been awarded annually since 1945 to living persons who have made major contributions to medical science or who have performed public service on behalf of medicine. They are administered by the Lasker Foundation, founded by ...
in the category
Planned Parenthood Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA), or Planned Parenthood, is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a le ...

Planned Parenthood
World Population In demography, demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have exceeded 7.9 billion people . It took over 2 million years of prehistory, human prehistory and human history, history fo ...

World Population
.


Life


Personal life

Huxley came from the
Huxley family The Huxley family is a British family; several of its members have excelled in science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organize ...
on his father's side and the Arnold family on his mother's. His great-grandfather was
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was an English educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from th ...
of
Rugby School Rugby School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, a ...
, his great-uncle
Matthew Arnold Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic A cultural critic is a critic A critic is a professional who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as ...

Matthew Arnold
, and his aunt
Mrs Humphry Ward Mary Augusta Ward (''née'' Arnold; 11 June 1851 – 24 March 1920) was a British literature, British novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward. She worked to improve education for the poor and she became the founding Presi ...
. His grandfather
Thomas Henry Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge ...

Thomas Henry Huxley
was raised Anglican but eventually became an advocate of
Agnosticism Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, of the divine or the supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatural By de ...

Agnosticism
, a word he coined. Thomas was also a friend and supporter of
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
and proponent of evolution. Huxley's father was a writer and an editor Leonard Huxley and his mother was Julia Arnold Huxley, a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, who had gained a First in English Literature there in 1882. Julia and Leonard married in 1885 and they had four children: Margaret (1899–1981), the novelist , Trevenen and Julian. Huxley was born on 22 June 1887, at the London house of his aunt. His mother died in 1908, when he was 21. In 1912, his father married Rosalind Bruce, who was the same age as Julian, and he later acquired half-brothers Andrew Huxley and David Huxley. In 1911, Huxley became informally engaged to Kathleen Fordham, whom he had met some years earlier when she was a pupil at Prior's Field, the school his mother had run. During 1913 the relationship broke down and Huxley had a
nervous breakdown A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or oc ...
which a biographer described as caused by 'conflict between desire and guilt'. In the first months of 1914 Huxley had severe depression and lived for some weeks at The Hermitage, a small private nursing home. In August 1914 while Huxley was in Scotland, his brother Trevenen also had a nervous breakdown and stayed in the same nursing home. Trevenen was worried about how he had treated one of his women friends and committed suicide whilst there. In 1919 Huxley married (1896–1994) a French Swiss woman whom he had met while she was employed as a governess at
Garsington Manor Garsington Manor, in the village of Garsington, near Oxford, England, is a country house, dating from the 17th century. Its fame derives principally from its owner in the early 20th century, the "legendary Ottoline Morrell, who held court from 1915 ...
, the country house of
Lady Ottoline Morrell Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (16 June 1873 – 21 April 1938) was an English Aristocracy (class), aristocrat and society hostess. Her patronage was influential in artistic and intellectual circles, where she befriended writers including A ...

Lady Ottoline Morrell
. Huxley was later unfaithful to Baillot and told her that he wanted an open marriage. One of his affairs was with the poet
May Sarton May Sarton was the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in pla ...
who in turn fell in love with Baillot and had a brief affair with her as well. Huxley described himself in print as suffering from manic depression, and his wife's autobiography suggests that Julian Huxley suffered from a
bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of ...

bipolar disorder
. He relied on his wife to provide moral and practical support throughout his life. Julian and Juliette Huxley had two sons,
Anthony Huxley Anthony Julian Huxley (2 December 1920 – 26 December 1992) was a British botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic en ...
(1920–1992) and Francis Huxley (1923–2016), who both became scientists.


Early career

Huxley grew up at the family home in
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...

Surrey
, England, where he showed an early interest in nature, as he was given lessons by his grandfather,
Thomas Henry Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge ...

Thomas Henry Huxley
. When he heard his grandfather talking at dinner about the lack of parental care in fish, Julian piped up with "What about the
stickleback The Gasterosteidae are a family (biology), family of fish including the sticklebacks. They are related to the pipefish and seahorses. Taxonomy FishBase recognises 16 species in the family, grouped in five genera. However, several of the species ...
, Gran'pater?". His grandfather also took him to visit
Joseph Dalton Hooker Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (30 June 1817 – 10 December 1911) was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British botanist and explorer in the 19th century. He was a founder of geographical botany and Charles Darwin's closest friend ...

Joseph Dalton Hooker
at Kew. At the age of thirteen Huxley attended
Eton College Eton College () is a public school (private sector) for boys in Eton, Berkshire Eton ( ) is a town in Berkshire, England, on the opposite bank of the River Thames to Windsor, connected to it by Windsor Bridge. The civil parish In ...

Eton College
as a
King's Scholar A King's Scholar is a foundation scholar (elected on the basis of good academic performance and usually qualifying for reduced fees) of one of certain public schools. These include Eton College Eton College () is a 13–18 age range Indepe ...
, and continued to develop scientific interests; his grandfather had influenced the school to build science laboratories much earlier. At Eton he developed an interest in ornithology, guided by science master W. D. "Piggy" Hill. "Piggy was a genius as a teacher ... I have always been grateful to him." In 1905 Huxley won a scholarship in
Zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
to
Balliol College, Oxford Balliol College () is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford The University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = ...

Balliol College, Oxford
and took up the place in 1906 after spending the summer in Germany. He developed a particular interest in
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
and
protozoa Protozoa (singular protozoon or protozoan, plural protozoa or protozoans) is an informal term for a group of Unicellular organism, single-celled eukaryotes, either free-living or Parasitism, parasitic, that feed on organic matter such as other mi ...

protozoa
and developed a friendship with the ornithologist
William Warde Fowler William Warde Fowler (16 May 1847 – 15 June 1921) was an English historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies a ...
. In the autumn term of his final year, 1908, his mother died from cancer at the age of 46. In his final year he won the
Newdigate Prize Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize, more commonly the Newdigate Prize, is awarded to students of the University of Oxford , mottoeng = Psalm 27, The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (as of ...
for his poem "Holyrood". In 1909 he graduated with first class honours, and spent that July at the international gathering for the centenary of Darwin's birth, held at the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
. Huxley was awarded a scholarship to spend a year at the Naples Marine Biological Station, where he developed his interest in developmental biology by investigating sea squirts and
sea urchins ''Sea Urchins'' was a kidult television series (in three series) produced by Television New Zealand from 1980 to 1984. It starred Rebecca Gibney in her first television role, Bruce Allpress, John Bach, Roy Billing and Robert Rakete. Described ...

sea urchins
. In 1910 he was appointed as Demonstrator in the Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
, and started on the systematic observation of the courtship habits of water birds, such as the
common redshank The common redshank or simply redshank (''Tringa totanus'') is a Eurasian Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it sp ...

common redshank
(a wader) and
grebes Grebes () are aquatic diving birds in the order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, ...
(which are divers).
Bird watching Birdwatching, or birding, is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaw ...

Bird watching
in childhood had given Huxley his interest in
ornithology Ornithology is a branch of zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, ...

ornithology
, and he helped devise systems for the surveying and conservation of birds. His particular interest was bird behaviour, especially the courtship of water birds. His 1914 paper on the
great crested grebe The great crested grebe (''Podiceps cristatus'') is a member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display. Taxonomy The great crested grebe was formally described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus Carl ...

great crested grebe
, later published as a book, was a landmark in avian
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
; his invention of vivid labels for the rituals (such as 'penguin dance', 'plesiosaurus race' etc.) made the ideas memorable and interesting to the general reader. In 1912 Huxley was asked by
Edgar Odell Lovett Edgar Odell Lovett (April 14, 1871 – August 13, 1957) was an American educator and education administrator. He was the first president of Rice Institute (now Rice University) in Houston, Texas. Lovett was recommended to the post by Woodro ...

Edgar Odell Lovett
to set up the Department of Biology at the newly created Rice Institute (now
Rice University William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, af ...

Rice University
) in
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
, Texas, which he accepted, planning to start the following year. Huxley made an exploratory trip to the United States in September 1912, visiting a number of leading universities as well as the Rice Institute. At T. H. Morgan's fly lab (
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
) he invited H. J. Muller to join him at Rice. Muller agreed to be his deputy, hurried to complete his PhD and moved to Houston for the beginning of the 1915–1916 academic year. At Rice, Muller taught biology and continued ''Drosophila'' lab work. Before taking up the post of Assistant Professor at the
Rice Institute William Marsh Rice University, commonly known as Rice University, is a private research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher educatio ...

Rice Institute
, Huxley spent a year in Germany preparing for his demanding new job. Working in a laboratory just months before the outbreak of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, Huxley overheard fellow academics comment on a passing aircraft "it will not be long before those planes are flying over England". One pleasure of Huxley's life in Texas was the sight of his first
hummingbird Hummingbirds are Bird, birds native to the Americas and comprise the Family (biology), biological family Trochilidae. With about 360 species, they occur from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, but the vast majority of the species are found in the tropi ...

hummingbird
, though his visit to Edward Avery McIlhenny's estate on
Avery Island Avery Island (historically french: Île Petite Anse) is a salt dome best known as the source of Tabasco sauce. Located in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States, it is approximately inland from Vermilion Bay (Louisiana), Vermilion Bay, which in ...
in Louisiana was more significant. The McIlhennys and their Avery cousins owned the entire island, and the McIlhenny branch used it to produce their famous
Tabasco sauce Tabasco is a brand of hot sauce made from tabasco peppers (''Capsicum frutescens ''Capsicum frutescens'' is a wild chili pepper having plant genetics, genetic proximity to the cultivated pepper ''Capsicum chinense'' native to the Amazon Basin. ...

Tabasco sauce
. Birds were one of McIlhenny's passions, however, and around 1895 he had set up a private sanctuary on the Island, called Bird City. There Huxley found
egrets Egrets are heron The herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * ...
,
herons The herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered , and a strong yet lightweig ...
and
bitterns Bitterns are birds belonging to the subfamily Botaurinae of the heron family Ardeidae The herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species, some of which are referred to as ...
. These water birds, like the grebes, exhibit mutual courtship, with the pairs displaying to each other, and with the secondary sexual characteristics equally developed in both sexes. In September 1916 Huxley returned to England from Texas to assist in the war effort. He was commissioned a temporary
second lieutenant Second lieutenant is a junior Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank. Australia The rank of second lieutenant existed in the Colonial forces of Australia, military forces of ...
in the
Royal Army Service Corps The Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) was a corps Corps (; plural ''corps'' ; from French language, French ''corps'', from the Latin ''corpus'' "body") is a term used for several different kinds of organisation. A military innovation by Napoleon, ...
on 25 May 1917, and was transferred to the General List, working in the British Army Intelligence Corps from 26 January 1918, first in
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...

Sussex
, and then in northern Italy. He was advanced in grade within the Intelligence Corps on 3 May 1918, relinquished his intelligence appointment on 10 January 1919 and was demobilised five days later, retaining his rank. After the war he became a
Fellow A fellow is a broad concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The abil ...
at
New College, Oxford New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the ...

New College, Oxford
, and was made Senior Demonstrator in the University Department of Zoology. In fact, Huxley took the place of his old tutor Geoffrey Smith, who had been killed in the
battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is " ...
on the
Western FrontWestern Front or West Front may refer to: Military frontiers *Western Front (World War I), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (World War II), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (Russian Empire), a major ...

Western Front
. The ecological geneticist E. B. Ford always remembered his openness and encouragement at the start of his career.Huxley, Juliette. 1986. ''Leaves of the tulip tree: autobiography''. Murray, London. Chapter 4. In 1925 Huxley moved to
King's College London King's College London (informally King's or KCL) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or ...
as Professor of
Zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
, but in 1927, to the amazement of his colleagues and on the prodding of
H. G. Wells Herbert George Wells"Wells, H. G."
Revised 18 May 2015. ''
whom he had promised 1,000 words a day, he resigned his chair to work full-time with Wells and his son G. P. Wells on '' The Science of Life'' (
see below See or SEE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Music: ** See (album), ''See'' (album), studio album by rock band The Rascals *** "See", song by The Rascals, on the album ''See'' ** See (Tycho song), "See" (Tycho song), song by Tycho * T ...
). For some time Huxley retained his room at King's College, continuing as Honorary Lecturer in the Zoology Department, and from 1927 to 1931 he was also at the
Royal Institution The Royal Institution of Great Britain (often the Royal Institution, abbreviated 'Ri' or 'RI') is an organisation for scientific education and research, based in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the Unite ...

Royal Institution
, where he gave an annual lectures series, but this marked the end of his life as a university academic. In 1929, after finishing work on ''The Science of Life'', Huxley visited East Africa to advise the
Colonial Office The Colonial Office was a government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executive bodies in the Machinery of governmen ...
on education in
British East Africa East Africa Protectorate (also known as British East Africa) was an area in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East Afric ...
(for the most part
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic ba ...

Uganda
and
Tanganyika Tanganyika may refer to: * Tanganyika (territory) Tanganyika was a territory located on the continent of Africa, and administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with ...
). He discovered that the wildlife on the
Serengeti The Serengeti ( ) ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa, spanning northern Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa o ...

Serengeti
plain was almost undisturbed because the
tsetse fly Tsetse ( , or ), sometimes spelled tzetze and also known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies Many species of arthropods (insects, arachnids and others) regularly or occasionally bite or sting human beings. Insect saliva contains antico ...

tsetse fly
(the vector for the parasite which causes sleeping sickness in humans) prevented human settlement there. He tells about these experiences in ''Africa view'' (1931), and so does his wife. She reveals that he fell in love with an 18-year-old American girl on board ship (when Juliette was not present), and then presented Juliette with his ideas for an open marriage: "What Julian really wanted was… a definite freedom from the conventional bonds of marriage." The couple separated for a while; Julian travelled to the US, hoping to land a suitable appointment and, in due course, to marry Miss Weldmeier. He left no account of what transpired, but he was evidently not successful, and returned to England to resume his marriage in 1931. For the next couple of years Huxley still angled for an appointment in the US, without success.


Mid career

As the 1930s started, Huxley travelled widely and took part in a variety of activities which were partly scientific and partly political. In 1931 Huxley visited the
USSR The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state that spanned Eurasia during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a Federation, federal union of multiple national Republics of ...
at the invitation of
Intourist Intourist (russian: Интурист, contraction of , "foreign tourist") is a Russian tour operator, headquartered in Moscow. It was founded on April 12, 1929 and served as the primary travel agency for foreign tourists in the Soviet Union. I ...

Intourist
, where initially he admired the results of social and economic planning on a large scale. Later, back in the United Kingdom, he became a founding member of the think tank
Political and Economic Planning Political and Economic Planning (PEP) was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the Bri ...
. In the 1930s Huxley visited
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
and other East African countries to see the conservation work, including the creation of
national parks#REDIRECT National park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state dec ...

national parks
. In 1933, he was one of eleven people involved in the appeal that led to the foundation of the
British Trust for Ornithology The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an organisation founded in 1932 for the study of birds Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered ...
(BTO), an organisation for the study of
birds Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

birds
in the British Isles. From 1933 to 1938 he was a member of the committee for Lord Hailey's African Survey. In 1935 Huxley was appointed secretary to the
Zoological Society of London The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide and their . It was founded in 1826. History On 29 November 1822, the birthday of , "the father of modern zoology", a meeting held in the in Soho Square led by R ...

Zoological Society of London
, and spent much of the next seven years running the society and its zoological gardens, the
London Zoo London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo A zoo (short for zoological garden; also called an animal park or menagerie) is a facility in which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form ...
and
Whipsnade Park ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, formerly known as Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, is a zoo and safari park located at Whipsnade, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It is one of two zoos (the other being ZSL London Zoo in Regent's Park, London) that are owne ...
, alongside his writing and research. The previous Director,
Peter Chalmers Mitchell Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (23 November 1864 – 2 July 1945) was a Scottish zoologist who was Secretary of the Zoological Society of London from 1903 to 1935. During this time, he directed the policy of the Zoological Gardens of London and cre ...
, had been in post for many years, and had skillfully avoided conflict with the Fellows and Council. Things were rather different when Huxley arrived. Huxley was not a skilled administrator; his wife said "He was impatient… and lacked tact". He instituted a number of changes and innovations, more than some approved of. For example, Huxley introduced a whole range of ideas designed to make the Zoo child-friendly. Today, this would pass without comment; but then it was more controversial. He fenced off the Fellows' Lawn to establish Pets Corner; he appointed new assistant curators, encouraging them to talk to children; he initiated the Zoo Magazine. Fellows and their guests had the privilege of free entry on Sundays, a closed day to the general public. Today, that would be unthinkable, and Sundays are now open to the public. Huxley's mild suggestion (that the guests should pay) encroached on territory the Fellows thought was theirs by right. In 1941 Huxley was invited to the United States on a lecturing tour, and generated some controversy by saying that he thought the United States should join
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
: a few weeks later came the
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite ...

attack on Pearl Harbor
. When the US joined the war, he found it difficult to get a passage back to the UK, and his lecture tour was extended. The Council of the Zoological Society—"a curious assemblage… of wealthy amateurs, self-perpetuating and autocratic"—uneasy with their secretary, used this as an opportunity to remove him. This they did by abolishing his post "to save expenses". Since Huxley had taken a half-salary cut at the start of the war, and no salary at all whilst he was in America, the council's action was widely read as a personal attack on Huxley. A public controversy ensued, but eventually the Council got its way. In 1943 he was asked by the British government to join the Colonial Commission on Higher Education. The commission's remit was to survey the West African
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries for suitable locations for the creation of universities. There he acquired a disease, went down with
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living or ...

hepatitis
, and had a serious mental breakdown. He was completely disabled, treated with ECT, and took a full year to recover. He was 55.


Later career

Huxley, a lifelong internationalist with a concern for education, got involved in the creation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
), and became the organization's first director-general in 1946. His term of office, six years in the Charter, was cut down to two years at the behest of the American delegation. The reasons are not known for sure, but his left-wing tendencies and humanism were likely factors. In a fortnight he dashed off a 60-page booklet on the purpose and philosophy of UNESCO, eventually printed and issued as an official document. There were, however, many conservative opponents of his scientific humanism. His idea of restraining population growth with birth control was anathema to both the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
and the
Comintern The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism, headed by the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "str ...
/
Cominform The Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties (), commonly known as Cominform (), was the official central organization Centralisation or centralization (see American and British English spelling differences#iseize, spelling d ...
. In its first few years UNESCO was dynamic and broke new ground; since Huxley it has become larger, more bureaucratic and stable. The personal and social side of the years in Paris are well described by his wife.Huxley, Juliette 1986. ''Leaves of the tulip tree''. Murray, London. Huxley's internationalist and conservation interests also led him, with
Victor Stolan Victor Stolan (born 1893) provided "the germ of the idea"Sir Arthur Norman (industrialist), Arthur Norman (1981) The story of the World Wildlife Fund. Contemporary Review vol 239, 23-29. that led Julian Huxley and Max Nicholson with him to start the ...
,
Sir Peter Scott Sir Peter Markham Scott, (14 September 1909 – 29 August 1989) was a British ornithologist Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the "methodological study and consequent knowledge of birds with all that relates to them". Several ...
,
Max Nicholson Edward Max Nicholson (12 July 1904 – 26 April 2003) was a pioneering environmentalism, environmentalist, ornithology, ornithologist and internationalism (politics), internationalist, and a founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature, World Wildl ...
and Guy Mountfort, to set up the WWF (
World Wide Fund for Nature The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization An international non-governmental organization (INGO) is an organization which is independent of government involvement and extends the concept of a non-go ...
under its former name of the
World Wildlife Fund In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the worl ...
). Another post-war activity was Huxley's attack on the Soviet politico-scientist
Trofim Lysenko Trofím Denísovich Lysénko (russian: Трофи́м Дени́сович Лысе́нко, uk, Трохи́м Дени́сович Лисе́нко, Trokhym Denysovych Lysenko; 20 November 1976) was a Soviet agronomist and biologist France ...
, who had espoused a
Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck (; ), was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fu ...
ian heredity, made unscientific pronouncements on agriculture, used his influence to destroy classical genetics in Russia and to move genuine scientists from their posts. In 1940, the leading botanical geneticist
Nikolai Vavilov Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov ( rus, Никола́й Ива́нович Вави́лов, p=nʲɪkɐˈlaj ɪˈvanəvʲɪtɕ vɐˈvʲiləf, a=Ru-Nikolay_Ivanovich_Vavilov.ogg; – 26 January 1943) was a prominent Russian and Soviet Union, Soviet ...
was arrested, and Lysenko replaced him as director of the Institute of Genetics. In 1941, Vavilov was tried, found guilty of 'sabotage' and sentenced to death. Reprieved, he died in jail of malnutrition in 1943. Lysenko's machinations were the cause of his arrest. Worse still,
Lysenkoism Lysenkoism ( rus , Лысе́нковщина , Lysenkovshchina) was a political campaign led by Trofim Lysenko against genetics Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms ...
not only denied proven genetic facts, it stopped the
artificial selection This Chihuahua (dog), Chihuahua mixed-breed dog, mix and Great Dane shows the wide range of dog breed sizes created using selective breeding. Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breed ...
of crops on Darwinian principles. This may have contributed to the regular shortage of food from the Soviet agricultural system ( Soviet famines). Huxley, who had twice visited the Soviet Union, was originally not anti-communist, but the ruthless adoption of Lysenkoism by Joseph Stalin ended his tolerant attitude. Lysenko ended his days in a Soviet mental hospital, and Vavilov's reputation was posthumously restored in 1955. In the 1950s Huxley played a role in bringing to the English-speaking public the work of the French Jesuit-palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who he believed had been unfairly treated by the Catholic and Jesuit hierarchy. Both men believed in evolution, but differed in its interpretation as Teilhard de Chardin was a Christian, whilst Huxley was an atheist. Huxley wrote the foreword to ''The Phenomenon of Man'' (1959) and was bitterly attacked by his rationalist friends for doing so. On Huxley's death at 87 on 14 February 1975, John Owen (Director of National Parks for
Tanganyika Tanganyika may refer to: * Tanganyika (territory) Tanganyika was a territory located on the continent of Africa, and administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with ...
) wrote "Julian Huxley was one of the world's great men… he played a seminal role in wild life conservation in [East] Africa in the early days… [and in] the far-reaching influence he exerted [on] the international community". In addition to his international and humanist concerns, his research interests covered evolution in all its aspects,
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
,
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
, genetics, anthropology and to some extent the infant field of cell biology. Julian's eminence as an advocate for evolution, and especially his contribution to the modern evolutionary synthesis, led to his awards of the
Darwin Medal Image:Charles Darwin aged 51.jpg, Charles Darwin, for whom the award is named The Darwin Medal is awarded by the Royal Society every alternate year for "work of acknowledged distinction in the broad area of biology in which Charles Darwin worked ...
of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by Charles II of ...
in 1956, and the Darwin–Wallace Medal of the
Linnaean Society The Linnean Society of London is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discipline, prof ...
in 1958. 1958 was the centenary anniversary of the joint presentation ''On the tendency of species to form varieties; and the perpetuation of varieties and species by natural means of selection'' by Darwin and Wallace. Huxley was a friend and mentor of the biologists and Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen, and taught and encouraged many others. In general, he was more of an all-round naturalist than his famous grandfather, and contributed much to the acceptance of natural selection. His outlook was international, and somewhat idealistic: his interest in progress and evolutionary humanism runs through much of his published work. He was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II, Humanist Manifesto.


Special themes


Evolution

Huxley and biologist August Weismann insisted on natural selection as the primary agent in evolution. Huxley was a major player in the mid-twentieth century modern evolutionary synthesis. He was a prominent populariser of biological science to the General public, public, with a focus on three aspects in particular.


Personal influence

* In the early 20th century he was one of the minority of biologists who believed that
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
was the main driving force of evolution, and that evolution occurred by small steps and not by saltation (biology), saltation (jumps). These opinions are now standard.
Though his time as an academic was quite brief, he taught and encouraged a number of evolutionary biologists at the University of Oxford in the 1920s. Charles Sutherland Elton, Charles Elton (ecology), Alister Hardy (marine biology) and John Baker (biologist), John Baker (cell biology, cytology) all became highly successful, and Baker eventually wrote Huxley's Royal Society obituary memoir.
Perhaps the most significant was Edmund Brisco Ford, who founded a field of research called ecological genetics, which played a role in the evolutionary synthesis. Another important disciple was Gavin de Beer, who wrote on evo-devo, evolution and development, and became Director of the Natural History Museum, London, Natural History Museum. Both these scholars had attended Huxley's lectures on genetics, experimental zoology (including
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
) and
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
. Later, they became his collaborators, and then leaders in their own right. * In an era when scientists did not travel so frequently as today, Huxley was an exception, for he travelled widely in Europe, Africa and the United States. He was therefore able to learn from and influence other scientists, naturalists and administrators. In the US he was able to meet other evolutionists at a critical time in the reassessment of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. In Africa he was able to influence colonial administrators about education and wildlife Conservation movement, conservation. In Europe, through
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
, he was at the centre of the post-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
revival of education. In Russia, however, his experiences were mixed. His initially favourable view was changed by his growing awareness of Stalin's murderous repression, and the Trofim Lysenko, Lysenko affair. There seems little evidence that he had any effect on the Soviet Union, and the same could be said for some other Western scientists.
"Marxist-Leninism had become a dogmatic religion… and like all dogmatic religions, it had turned from reform to persecution."


Evolutionary synthesis

* Huxley was one of the main architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis which took place around the time of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. The synthesis of genetic and population ideas produced a consensus which reigned in biology from about 1940, and which is still broadly tenable. : "The most informative episode in the history of evolutionary biology was the establishment of the 'neo-Darwinian synthesis'." The synthesis was brought about "not by one side being proved right and the others wrong, but by the exchange of the most viable components of the previously competing research strategies". Ernst Mayr, 1980. * Huxley's first 'trial run' was the treatment of evolution in the ''Science of Life'' (1929–30), and in 1936 he published a long and significant paper for the British Association. In 1938 came three lengthy reviews on major evolutionary topics. Two of these papers were on the subject of sexual selection, an idea of Darwin's whose standing has been revived in recent times. Huxley thought that sexual selection was "…merely an aspect of natural selection which… is concerned with characters which subserve mating, and are usually sex-limited". This rather grudging acceptance of sexual selection was influenced by his studies on the courtship of the
great crested grebe The great crested grebe (''Podiceps cristatus'') is a member of the grebe family of water birds noted for its elaborate mating display. Taxonomy The great crested grebe was formally described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus Carl ...

great crested grebe
(and other birds that pair for life): the courtship takes place mostly ''after'' mate selection, not before. * Now it was time for Huxley to tackle the subject of evolution at full length, in what became the defining work of his life. His role was that of a synthesiser, and it helped that he had met many of the other participants. His book ''Evolution: The Modern Synthesis'' was written whilst he was secretary to the Zoological Society, and made use of his remarkable collection of reprints covering the first part of the century. It was published in 1942. Reviews of the book in learned journals were little short of ecstatic; the American Naturalist called it "The outstanding evolutionary treatise of the decade, perhaps of the century. The approach is thoroughly scientific; the command of basic information amazing". * Huxley's main co-respondents in the modern evolutionary synthesis are usually listed as Ernst Mayr, Theodosius Dobzhansky, George Gaylord Simpson, Bernhard Rensch, Ledyard Stebbins and the population geneticists J. B. S. Haldane, Ronald Fisher and Sewall Wright.
However, at the time of Huxley's book several of these had yet to make their distinctive contribution. Certainly, for Huxley, E. B. Ford and his co-workers in ecological genetics were at least as important; and Cyril Darlington, the chromosome expert, was a notable source of facts and ideas.
An analysis of the 'authorities cited' index of ''Evolution the modern synthesis'' shows indirectly those whom Huxley regarded as the most important contributors to the synthesis up to 1941 (the book was published in 1942, and references go up to 1941). The authorities cited 20 or more times are:
Cyril Darlington, Darlington, Charles Darwin, Darwin, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Dobzhansky, Ronald Fisher, Fisher, E. B. Ford, Ford, Richard Goldschmidt, Goldschmidt, J. B. S. Haldane, Haldane, J. S. Huxley, Hermann J. Muller, Muller, Bernhard Rensch, Rensch, W. B. Turrill, Turrill, Sewall WWright.
This list contains a few surprises. Goldschmidt was an influential geneticist who advocated evolution by saltation, and was sometimes mentioned in disagreement. Turrill provided Huxley with botanical information. The list omits three key members of the synthesis who are listed above: Ernst Mayr, Mayr, G. Ledyard Stebbins, Stebbins the botanist and George Gaylord Simpson, Simpson the palaeontologist. Mayr gets 16 citations and more in the two later editions; all three published outstanding and relevant books some years later, and their contribution to the synthesis is unquestionable. Their lesser weight in Huxley's citations was caused by the early publication date of his book. Huxley's book is not strong in palaeontology, which illustrates perfectly why Simpson's later works were such an important contribution. * It was Huxley who coined the terms ''the new synthesis'' and ''evolutionary synthesis''; he also invented the term ''cline (population genetics), cline'' in 1938 to refer to species whose members fall into a series of sub-species with continuous change in characters over a geographical area. The classic example of a cline is the circle of subspecies of the gull ''Larus'' round the Arctic zone. This cline is an example of a ''ring species''.
Some of Huxley's last contributions to the evolutionary synthesis were on the subject of ecological genetics. He noted how surprisingly widespread polymorphism (biology), polymorphism is in nature, with visible morphism much more prevalent in some groups than others. The immense diversity of colour and pattern in small bivalve molluscs, brittlestars, sea-anemones, tubicular polychaetes and various grasshoppers is perhaps maintained by making recognition by predators more difficult.


Evolutionary progress

Although Huxley believed that on a broad view evolution led to advances in organisation, he rejected classical Aristotle, Aristotelian teleology: "The ordinary man, or at least the ordinary poet, philosopher and theologian, always was anxious to find purpose in the evolutionary process. I believe this reasoning to be totally false.". Huxley coined the phrase ''Progress without a goal'' to summarise his case in ''Evolution the modern synthesis'' that evolutionary progress was "a raising of the upper level of biological efficiency, this being defined as increased control over and independence of the environment." In ''Evolution in action'' he wrote that
Natural selection plus time produces biological improvement… 'Improvement' is not yet a recognised technical term in biology … however, living things are improved during evolution… Darwin was not afraid to use the word for the results of natural selection in general… I believe that improvement can become one of the key concepts in evolutionary biology.
Can it be scientifically defined? Improvements in biological machinery… the limbs and teeth of grazing horses… the increase in brain-power… The eyes of a dragon-fly, which can see all round [it] in every direction, are an improvement over the mere microscopic eye-spots of early forms of life.
[Over] the whole range of evolutionary time we see general advance—improvement in all the main properties of life, including its general organization. 'Advance' is thus a useful term for long-term improvement in some general property of life. [But] improvement is not universal. Lower forms manage to survive alongside higher".
Huxley's views on progressive evolution were similar to those of G. Ledyard Stebbins and Bernhard Rensch, and were challenged in the latter part of the twentieth century with objections from Cladism, Cladists, among others, to any suggestion that one group could be scientifically described as 'advanced' and another as 'primitive'. Modern assessments of these views have been surveyed in Nitecki and Dawkins.


Secular humanism

Huxley's secular humanism, humanism came from his appreciation that mankind was in charge of its own destiny (at least in principle), and this raised the need for a sense of direction and a system of ethics. His grandfather T. H. Huxley, when faced with similar problems, had promoted agnosticism, but Julian chose humanism as being more directed to supplying a basis for ethics. Julian's thinking went along these lines: "The critical point in the evolution of man… was when he acquired the use of [language]… Man's development is potentially open… He has developed a new method of evolution: the transmission of organized experience by way of tradition, which… largely overrides the automatic process of natural selection as the agent of change." Both Huxley and his grandfather gave Romanes Lectures on the possible connection between evolution and ethics (see evolutionary ethics). Huxley's views on God could be described as being that of an agnostic atheist. Huxley had a close association with the British rationalist movement, rationalist and secular humanism, secular humanist movements. He was an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association from 1927 until his death, and on the formation of the
British Humanist Association Humanists UK, known from 1967 until May 2017 as the British Humanist Association (BHA), is a charitable organisation which promotes secular humanism and aims to represent "people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beli ...
in 1963 became its first President, to be succeeded by Alfred Ayer, AJ Ayer in 1965. He was also closely involved with the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Many of Huxley's books address humanist themes. In 1962 Huxley accepted the American Humanist Association's annual "Humanist of the Year" award. Huxley also presided over the founding Congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union and served with John Dewey, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann on the founding advisory board of the First Humanist Society of New York.


Religious naturalism

Huxley wrote that "There is no separate supernatural realm: all phenomena are part of one natural process of evolution. There is no basic cleavage between science and religion;… I believe that [a] drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary, from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern."Huxley, Julian. 1969. The New Divinity in ''Essays of a Humanist''. Penguin, London. Some believe the appropriate label for these views is religious naturalism.
Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct something to take its place.


Parapsychology

Huxley took interest in investigating the claims of parapsychology and spiritualism. He joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1928. After investigation he found the field to be unscientific and full of charlatans. In 1934, he joined the International Institute for Psychical Research but resigned after a few months due to its members' spiritualist bias and non-scientific approach to the subject. After attending séances, Huxley concluded that the phenomena could be explained "either by natural causes, or, more usually by fraud". Huxley, Harold Dearden and others were judges for a group formed by the ''Sunday Chronicle'' to investigate the Materialization (paranormal), materialization medium Harold Evans. During a séance Evans was exposed as a fraud. He was caught masquerading as a spirit, in a white nightshirt. In 1952, Huxley wrote the foreword to Donovan Rawcliffe's ''The Psychology of the Occult''.


Eugenics and race

Huxley was a prominent member of the
British Eugenics Society British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependenc ...
, and was Vice-President (1937–1944) and President (1959–1962). He thought eugenics was important for removing undesirable variants from the human gene pool, though after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
he believed Race (classification of human beings), race was a meaningless concept in biology, and its application to humans was highly inconsistent. Huxley was an outspoken critic of the most extreme eugenicism in the 1920s and 1930s (the stimulus for which was the greater fertility of the 'feckless' poor compared to the 'responsible' prosperous classes). He was, nevertheless, a leading figure in the eugenics movement (see, for example, Eugenics manifesto). He gave the Galton memorial lecture twice, in 1936 and 1962. In his writing he used this argument several times: "''no one doubts the wisdom of managing the germ plasm of agricultural stocks, so why not apply the same concept to human stocks?"'' The agricultural analogy appears over and over again as it did in the writings of many American eugenicists. Huxley was one of many intellectuals at the time who believed that the lowest class in society was genetically inferior. In this passage, from 1941, he investigates a hypothetical scenario where Social Darwinism, capitalism, nationalism and the class society is taken for granted:
If so, then we must plan our eugenic policy along some such lines as the following:... The lowest strata, allegedly less well-endowed genetically, are reproducing relatively too fast. Therefore birth-control methods must be taught them; they must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive; long unemployment should be a ground for sterilization, or at least relief should be contingent upon no further children being brought into the world; and so on. That is to say, much of our eugenic programme will be curative and remedial merely, instead of preventive and constructive.
Here, he does not demean the working class in general, but aims for ''"the virtual elimination of the few lowest and most degenerate types"''. The sentiment is not at all atypical of the time, and similar views were held by many geneticists (William E. Castle, C.B. Davenport, H. J. Muller are examples), and by other prominent intellectuals. However, Huxley advocated a completely different alternative, in which the lower classes are ensured a nutritious diet, education and facilities for recreation:
We must therefore concentrate on producing a single equalized environment; and this clearly should be one as favourable as possible to the expression of the genetic qualities that we think desirable. Equally clearly, this should include the following items. A marked raising of the standard of diet for the great majority of the population, until all should be provided both with adequate calories and adequate accessory factors; provision of facilities for healthy exercise and recreation; and upward equalization of educational opportunity. ... we know from various sources that raising the standard of life among the poorest classes almost invariably results in a lowering of their fertility. In so far, therefore, as differential class-fertility exists, raising the environmental level will reduce any dysgenic effects which it may now have.
Concerning a public health and racial policy in general, Huxley wrote that "…unless [civilised societies] invent and enforce adequate measures for regulating human reproduction, for controlling the quantity of population, and ''at least preventing the deterioration of quality of racial stock'', they are doomed to decay …" and remarked how biology should be the chief tool for rendering social politics scientific. In the opinion of Duvall, "His views fell well within the spectrum of opinion acceptable to the English liberal intellectual elite. He shared ''Nature (journal), Nature''s enthusiasm for birth control, and 'voluntary' sterilization." However, the word 'English' in this passage is unnecessary: such views were widespread. Duvall comments that Huxley's enthusiasm for centralised Social engineering (political science), social and economic planning and Anti-industrialism, anti-industrial values was common to leftist Ideology, ideologists during the inter-war years. Towards the end of his life, Huxley himself must have recognised how unpopular these views became after the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. In the two volumes of his autobiography, there is no mention of eugenics in the index, nor is Galton mentioned; and the subject has also been omitted from many of the obituaries and biographies. An exception is the proceedings of a conference organised by the
British Eugenics Society British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependenc ...
. In response to the rise of European fascism in the 1930s, he was asked to write ''We Europeans'' with the ethnologist Alfred Cort Haddon, A. C. Haddon, the zoologist Alexander Carr-Saunders and the historian of science Charles Singer. Huxley suggested the word 'race' be replaced with ethnic group. After the Second World War, he was instrumental in producing the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
statement ''The Race Question'', which asserted that:
A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species ''Homo sapiens''"… "National, religious, geographic, linguistic and cult groups do not necessary coincide with racial groups: the cultural traits of such groups have no demonstrated genetic connexion with racial traits. Because serious errors of this kind are habitually committed when the term 'race' is used in popular parlance, it would be better when speaking of human races to drop the term 'race' altogether and speak of ''ethnic groups''"… "Now what has the scientist to say about the groups of mankind which may be recognized at the present time? Human races can be and have been differently classified by different anthropologists, but at the present time most anthropologists agree on classifying the greater part of present-day mankind into three major divisions, as follows: The Mongoloid Division; The Negroid Division; The Caucasoid Division." … "Catholics, Protestants, Moslems and Jews are not races … The biological fact of race and the myth of 'race' should be distinguished. For all practical social purposes 'race' is not so much a biological phenomenon as a social myth. The myth 'race' has created an enormous amount of human and social damage. In recent years it has taken a heavy toll in human lives and caused untold suffering. It still prevents the normal development of millions of human beings and deprives civilization of the effective co-operation of productive minds. The biological differences between ethnic groups should be disregarded from the standpoint of social acceptance and social action. The unity of mankind from both the biological and social viewpoint is the main thing. To recognize this and to act accordingly is the first requirement of modern man ...
Huxley won the second Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for ''We Europeans'' in 1937. In 1951, Huxley coined the term ''transhumanism'' for the view that humans should better themselves through science and technology, possibly including eugenics, but also, importantly, the improvement of the social environment.


Public life and popularisation

Huxley was a capable and willing popularizer of science. Well over half his books are addressed to an educated general audience, and he wrote often in periodicals and newspapers. The most extensive bibliography of Huxley lists some of these ephemeral articles, though there are others unrecorded. These articles, some reissued as ''Essays of a Biologist'' (1923), probably led to the invitation from H. G. Wells to help write a comprehensive work on biology for a general readership, ''The Science of Life''. This work was published in stages in 1929–30, and in one volume in 1931. Of this Robert Olby said "Book IV ''The essence of the controversies about evolution'' offers perhaps the clearest, most readable, succinct and informative popular account of the subject ever penned. It was here that he first expounded his own version of what later developed into the evolutionary synthesis". In his memoirs, Huxley says that he made almost £10,000 from the book. In 1934 Huxley collaborated with the naturalist Ronald Lockley to create for Alexander Korda the world's first natural history documentary ''The Private Life of the Gannets''. For the film, shot with the support of the Royal Navy around Grassholm off the Pembrokeshire coast, they won an Academy Awards, Oscar for best documentary. Huxley had given talks on the radio since the 1920s, followed by written versions in ''The Listener (magazine), The Listener''. In later life, he became known to an even wider audience through television. In 1939 the BBC asked him to be a regular panelist on a BBC Home Service, Home Service general knowledge show, ''The Brains Trust'', in which he and other panelists were asked to discuss questions submitted by listeners. The show was commissioned to keep up war time morale, by preventing the war from "disrupting the normal discussion of interesting ideas". The audience was not large for this somewhat elite programme; however, listener research ranked Huxley the most popular member of the Brains Trust from 1941 to 1944. Later, he was a regular panelist on one of the BBC's first quiz shows (1955) ''Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?'' in which participants were asked to talk about objects chosen from museum and university collections. In 1937 Huxley was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on ''Rare Animals and the Disappearance of Wild Life''. In his essay ''The Crowded World'' Huxley was openly critical of Communist and Catholic attitudes to birth control, population control and Human overpopulation, overpopulation. Based on variable rates of compound interest, Huxley predicted a probable world population of 6 billion by 2000. The United Nations Population Fund marked 12 October 1999 as The Day of Six Billion. There is a public house named after Sir Julian in Selsdon, London Borough of Croydon, close to the Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve which he helped establish.


Terms coined

* Clade (1957): a monophyletic taxon; a single species and its descendants * Cline (population genetics), Cline (1938): a gradient of gene frequencies in a population, along a given transect * Ethnic group (1936): as opposed to Race (classification of human beings), race * Evolutionary grade (1959): a level of evolutionary advance, in contrast to a clade * Mentifact (1955): objects which consist of ideas in people's minds * Polymorphism (biology), Morph (1942): as more correct and simpler than polymorphism (biology), polymorph * Ritualization (1914): formalised activities in bird behaviour, caused by inherited behaviour chains * Sociofact (1955): objects which consist of interactions between members of a social group * Transhumanism (1957): the transforming of human beings


Titles and phrases

* ''Religion Without Revelation'' (1927, 1957) * ''The New Systematics'' (1940) * ''The Uniqueness of Man'' (1941) * ''Evolution: Modern synthesis (20th century), The Modern Synthesis'' (1942) * ''Evolutionary Ethics'' (1943) * ''Evolution as a Process'' (1954) * ''Essays of a Humanist'' (1964) * ''The Future of Man'' (1966)


Selected works


Articles


"Transhumanism."
''Journal of Humanistic Psychology'', vol. 8, no. 1 (January 1968): 73-76. . ::"Huxley gives the outline of what he believes future humanity could – and should – look like. By pointing out the numerous limitations and feebleness the human nature is – at the time – prone to, and by confronting them with the possibilities humankind has, Huxley expresses the need to research and put into use all possible measures that would enable man achieve utmost perfection."


Books


''The Individual in the Animal Kingdom''
Cambridge University Press (1912) * ''Courtship Habits of the Great Crested Grebe'' (1914) "A landmark in
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
." * ''Essays of a Biologist'' (1923) * ''Essays in Popular Science'' (1926) * ''The Stream of Life'' (1926) * ''The Tissue-Culture King'' (1926) [short story] * ''Animal Biology'', with J. B. S. Haldane (1927) * ''Religion Without Revelation'' (1927) [Revised ed. 1957] * ''Ants'' (1929) * ''Science of Life: A Summary of Contemporary Knowledge About Life and its Possibilities'', with H. G. Wells, H. G. & G. P. Wells (1929–30) ** First issued in 31 fortnightly parts published by Amalgamated Press, 1929–31, bound up in three volumes as publication proceeded. First issued in one volume by Cassell in 1931, reprinted 1934, 1937, popular edition, fully revised, 1938. Published as separate volumes by Cassell 1934–37: I ''The Living Body''. II ''Patterns of life'' (1934). III ''Evolution—fact and theory''. IV Reproduction, heredity and the development of sex. V ''The history and adventure of life''. VI ''The drama of life''. VII ''How animals behave'' (1937). VIII ''Man's mind and behaviour''. IX ''Biology and the human race''. Published in New York by Doubleday, Doran & Co. 1931, 1934, 1939; and by The Literary Guild 1934. Three of the Cassell spin-off books were also published by Doubleday in 1932: ''Evolution, fact and theory''; ''The human mind and the behavior of Man''; ''Reproduction, genetics and the development of sex''. * ''Bird-watching and Bird Behaviour'' (1930) * ''An Introduction to Science'' with Edward Andrade (1931–34) * ''What Dare I Think?: The Challenge of Modern Science to Human Action and Belief''. London: Chatto & Windus; New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1931) * ''Africa View'' (1931) * ''Captive Shrew and Other Poems'' (1932) * ''Problems of Relative Growth'' (1932) (on allometry) * ''A Scientist Among the Soviets'' (1932) * ''If I Were Dictator''. London: Methuen; New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1934) * ''Scientific Research and Social Needs'' (1934) * ''Elements of Experimental Embryology'', with Gavin de Beer (1934) * ''Thomas Huxley's Diary of the Voyage of HMS Rattlesnake (1822), HMS ''Rattlesnake'''' (1935) * ''We Europeans'', with Alfred Cort Haddon, A.C. Haddon (1936) * ''Animal Language'' (1938) [Reprinted 1964] Photographs and audio recordings of animal calls by Ylla. * Present Standing of the Theory of Sexual Selection. In: Gavin de Beer (ed). ''Evolution: Essays on Aspects of Evolutionary Biology''. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1938): 11-42. * ''Living Thoughts of Darwin'' (1939) * ''New Systematics''. Oxford (1940) ::"...this multi-author volume, edited by Huxley, is one of the foundation stones of the 'Modern synthesis (20th century), Modern synthesis', with essays on Taxonomy (biology), taxonomy, evolution,
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
, Mendelian genetics and population genetics." * iarchive:democracymarches00huxl, ''Democracy Marches''. London: Chatto & Windus with Hogarth Press; New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1941). Foreword by Thomas Horder, 1st Baron Horder, Lord Horder. .
''The Uniqueness of Man''.
London: Chatto & Windus (1941
(Reprinted 1943)
** Published in U.S. as ''Man Stands Alone''. New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1941) * ''On Living in a Revolution''. New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1944)
''Evolution: The Modern Synthesis.''
London: Allen & Unwin (1942); New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1943) ** "Summarizes research on all topics relevant to the modern synthesis of evolution and Mendelian genetics up to the Second World War." *** Reprinted (1943), (1944), (1945), (1948), (1955). *** 2nd ed. (1963) New introduction and bibliography by the author. *** 3rd ed. (1974) New introduction and bibliography by nine contributors. *** New ed. (2010) Cambridge: MIT Press. Foreword by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller. * ''Evolutionary Ethics'' (1943) * ''TVA: Adventure in Planning'' (1944) * ''Evolution and Ethics, 1893–1943''. London: Pilot. ** Published in U.S. as ''Touchstone for Ethics'' New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1947) with text from Thomas Henry Huxley, T. H. (Thomas Henry) Huxley.
''Man in the Modern World''
(1947) Essays selected from ''The Uniqueness of Man'' (1941) and ''On Living in a Revolution'' (1944) * ''Soviet Genetics and World Science: Lysenko and the Meaning of Heredity''. London: Chatto & Windus ** Published in U.S. as ''Heredity, East and West.'' New York: Schuman (1949). * ''Evolution in Action'' (1953) * ''Evolution as a Process'' with Alister Hardy, Hardy A. C. and Edmund Brisco Ford, Ford E. B. (editors). London: Allen & Unwin (1954) * ''From an Antique Land: Ancient and Modern in the Middle East'' (1954) ** Revised ed. (1966) * ''Kingdom of the Beasts'' with W. Suschitzky (1956) * ''Biological Aspects of Cancer'' (1957) * iarchive:newbottlesfornew00juli, ''New Bottles for New Wine''. London: Chatto & Windus; New York: Harper (publisher), Harper (1957) ** Reprinted as iarchive:knowledgemoralit00huxl, ''Knowledge, Morality, Destiny''. New York: New American Library (1960) . ** Reprinted as "Knowledge, Morality, Destiny, I." ''Psychiatry'', vol. 14, no. 2 (1960): 129-140. . .
The Treasure House of Wild Life
13 Nov
More meat from game than cattle
13 Nov
Cropping the wild protein
20 Nov
Wild life as a World Assetsecond page
27 Nov; The Observer newspaper articles that led to the setting up of the
World Wildlife Fund In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the worl ...
(1960) * ''The Humanist Frame'' (editor) (1961) * ''The Coming New Religion of Humanism'' (1962) * ''Essays of a Humanist'' (1964) [reprinted 1966, 1969, 1992]. . * ''The Human Crisis'' (1964) * ''Darwin and his World'' with Bernard Kettlewell (1965) * ''Aldous Huxley 1894–1963: A Memorial Volume''. (editor) (1965) * ''The Future of Man: evolutionary Aspects''. (1966) * ''The Wonderful World of Evolution'' (1969) * ''Memories'' (autobiography). ** volume 1 (1970) ** volume 2 (1973) * ''Mitchell Beazley Atlas of World Wildlife''. London: Mitchell Beazley &
Zoological Society of London The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide and their . It was founded in 1826. History On 29 November 1822, the birthday of , "the father of modern zoology", a meeting held in the in Soho Square led by R ...

Zoological Society of London
(1973) ** Republished as ''The Atlas of World Wildlife''. Cape Town: Purnell (1973)


Notes


References


Biographies

* Baker John R. 1978. ''Julian Huxley, scientist and world citizen, 1887–1975''. UNESCO, Paris. * Clark, Ronald W. 1960. ''Sir Julian Huxley''. Phoenix, London. * Clark, Ronald W. 1968. ''The Huxleys''. Heinemann, London. * Dronamraju, Krishna R. 1993. ''If I am to be remembered: the life & work of Julian Huxley, with selected correspondence''. World Scientific, Singapore. * Green, Jens-Peter 1981. ''Krise und Hoffnung, der Evolutionshumanismus Julian Huxleys''. Carl Winter Universitätsverlag. * Huxley, Julian. 1970, 1973. ''Memories'' and ''Memories II''. George Allen & Unwin, London. * Huxley, Juliette 1986. ''Leaves of the tulip tree''. Murray, London [her autobiography includes much about Julian] * Keynes, Milo and Harrison, G. Ainsworth (eds) 1989. ''Evolutionary studies: a centenary celebration of the life of Julian Huxley''. Proceedings of the 24th annual symposium of the Eugenics Society, London 1987. Macmillan, London. * Biography of Julian Huxley by Chloé Maurel in the Biographical Dictionary of SG IOs

* Chloé Maurel, L'Unesco de 1945 à 1974, PhD history, université Paris 1, 2005
[archive] (on J. Huxley, p. 47–65)
* Olby, Robert 2004. Huxley, Sir Julian Sorell (1887–1975). In ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography''. (2680 words) * Waters, C. Kenneth and Van Helden, Albert (eds) 1993. ''Julian Huxley: biologist and statesman of science''. Rice University Press, Houston. [scholarly articles by historians of science on Huxley's work and ideas]


External links


Short biography.

''A Guide to the Papers of Julian Sorell Huxley''
by Sarah C. Bates and Mary G. Winkler. Houston, Tex.: Woodson Research Center,
Rice University William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, af ...

Rice University
. Rev. ed. (June 1987) [February 1984]. . "...with the assistance of Christina Riquelmy."
Julian Huxley’s philosophy
By John Toye and Richard Toye. In ''60 Years of Science at UNESCO 1945–2005'', UNESCO, 2006.
One World, Two Cultures? Alfred Zimmern, Julian Huxley and the Ideological Origins of UNESCO
By John Toye and Richard Toye. ''History'', 95, 319: 308–331, 2010
"Guide to the Julian Sorell Huxley Papers, 1899–1980"
(Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA)—"Julian Huxley papers documenting his career as a biologist and a leading intellectual. 180 boxes of materials ranging in date from 1899–1980." Extent: 91 linear feet.
"Transhumanism"
in ''New Bottles for New Wine''. London: Chatto & Windus, 1957.
''Essays of a Biologist'' (1923)
at Project Gutenberg
"The New Divination"
in ''Essays of a Humanist''. London: Chatto & Windus, 1964.

* Archival material at * {{DEFAULTSORT:Huxley, Julian 1887 births 1975 deaths Academics of King's College London Alumni of Balliol College, Oxford British Army personnel of World War I British officials of the United Nations Critics of creationism Critics of Lamarckism Critics of parapsychology Developmental biologists English atheists English humanists English eugenicists English people of Cornish descent English science writers English sceptics Ethologists Evolutionary biologists Fellows of New College, Oxford Fellows of the Royal Society Fullerian Professors of Physiology Huxley family, Julian Intelligence Corps officers Kalinga Prize recipients Knights Bachelor Modern synthesis (20th century) People educated at Eton College People with bipolar disorder Rice University faculty Secular humanists Secretaries of the Zoological Society of London Writers from London UNESCO Directors-General Zoo directors 20th-century British zoologists Royal Army Service Corps officers