Edwin Stephen Goodrich FRS (Weston-super-Mare, 21 June 1868 –
Oxford, 6 January 1946), was an English zoologist, specialising in
comparative anatomy, embryology, palaeontology, and evolution. He held
Linacre Chair of Zoology in the University of
Oxford from 1921 to
1946. He served as editor of the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical
Science from 1920 until his death.
3 Selected works
5 Further reading
6 External links
Goodrich's father died when Goodrich was only two weeks old, and his
mother took her children to live with her mother at Pau, France, where
he attended the local English school and a French lycée. In 1888 he
Slade School of Art
Slade School of Art at University College London; there he
met E. Ray Lankester, who interested him in zoology.
On coming to
Oxford from London, Goodrich entered Merton College,
Oxford as an undergraduate in 1892 and, while acting as assistant to
Lankester, read for the final honour school in Zoology; he was awarded
the Rolleston Memorial Prize in 1894 and graduated with first-class
honours the following year.
In 1913 Goodrich married Helen Pixell, a distinguished protozoologist,
who helped greatly with his work. His artistic training always stood
him in good stead. He drew diagrams of beauty and clarity whilst
lecturing (students used to photograph the blackboard before it was
erased), and in his books and papers. He also exhibited his watercolor
landscapes in London. Goodrich was elected Fellow of the Royal Society
in 1905 and received its
Royal Medal in 1936. He was honorary member
New York Academy of Science
New York Academy of Science and of many other academies, and
awarded many honorary doctorates. In 1945
Lev Berg of
Leningrad sent a
message through Julian Huxley: "Please tell [Goodrich] that... we all
regard ourselves as his pupils." A small, dapper, thin man with a dry
sense of humor, he always complained that, when travelling by air, he
was not weighed with his luggage, since his own weight was only half
that of an average passenger.
When Lankester became Linacre Professor of Comparative Anatomy at
Merton College, he made Goodrich his assistant in 1892; this marked
the start of the researches which during half a century made Goodrich
the greatest comparative anatomist of his day. In 1921 Goodrich was
appointed to his mentor's old post, which he held until 1945.
From the start of his researches, many of which were devoted to marine
organisms, Goodrich made himself acquainted at first hand with the
marine fauna of Plymouth, Roscoff, Banyuls, Naples, Helgoland,
Bermuda, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. He also travelled
extensively in Europe, the United States, North Africa, India, Ceylon,
Malaya, and Java. He worked out the significance of the tubes
connecting the centres of the bodies of animals with the outside.
There are nephridia, developed from the outer layer inward and serving
the function of excretion. Quite different from them are coelomoducts,
developed from the middle layer outward, serving to release the germ
cells. These two sets of tubes may look similar, when each opens into
the body cavity through a funnel surrounded by cilia which create a
current of fluid. In some groups the nephridia may disappear (as in
vertebrates, where the nephridia may have been converted into the
thymus gland), and the coelomoducts then take on the additional
function of excretion. This is why man has a genitourinary system.
Before Goodrich's analysis, the whole subject was in chaos.
Goodrich established that a motor nerve remains linked to its
corresponding segmental muscle, however much it may have become
displaced or obscured in development. He showed that organs can be
homologous without arising from the same segments of the body. For
example, the fins and limbs of vertebrates; and the occipital arch
(the back of the skull), which varies in vertebrates from the fifth to
the ninth segment.
He distinguished between the scale structures of fishes, living and
fossil, by which they are classified and recognised. This is important
because different strata may identified by fossil fish scales.
Goodrich's attention was always focused on evolution, to which he made
notable contributions, firmly adhering to Darwin's theory of natural
He was elected a
Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society in May 1905.
On his seventieth birthday, in 1938, his colleagues and pupils
published a festschrift edited by Gavin de Beer: Evolution: essays
on aspects of evolutionary biology.
Goodrich E.S. 1909. The Vertebrata Craniata (Cyclostomes and Fishes).
Volume IX of Lankester E. Ray (ed) Treatise on Zoology, London.
Goodrich, Edwin S. 1924. Living organisms: an account of their origin
Oxford University Press.
Goodrich E.S. 1930. Studies on the structure and development of
Vertebrates. Macmillan, London. xxx+837p, 754 figures. One of the
great works of vertebrate comparative anatomy.
Goodrich E.S. 1895. On the coelom, genital ducts, and nephridia.
Q.J.M.S. 37, 477–510.
Goodrich E.S. 1913. Metameric segmentation and homology, Q.J.M.S. 59,
Goodrich E.S. 1927. The problem of the sympathetic nervous system from
the morphological point of view. Proceedings of the Anatomical Society
of Great Britain and Ireland, Journal of Anatomy 61, p499.
Goodrich E.S. 1934. The early development of the nephridia in
Amphioxus, Introduction and part I: Hatschek's Nephridium. Q.J.M.S.
Goodrich E.S. 1934. 'The early development of the nephridia in
Amphioxus, part II: The paired nephridia. Q.J.M.S. 76, 655–674.
Goodrich E.S. 1945. The study of nephridia and genital ducts since
1895. Q.J.M.S. 86, 113–392.
^ a b c d de Beer, Gavin (1947). "Edwin Stephen Goodrich.
1868–1946". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5
(15): 477. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1947.0013.
^ a b Hardy, A. C. (1946). "Edwin Stephen Goodrich, 1868–1946".
Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. 87 (4): 317–355.
^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660–2007" (PDF). London: The
Royal Society. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
^ a volume of essays in his honour
Dictionary of Scientific Biography – biography by Gavin de Beer
Works written by or about
Edwin Stephen Goodrich at Wikisource
ISNI: 0000 0001 0912 1683
BNF: cb12275138d (data)