Ernest Hanbury Hankin
Ernest Hanbury Hankin (4 February 1865 – 29 March 1939), was a British bacteriologist, aeronautical theorist and naturalist. Working mainly in India, he studied malaria, cholera and other diseases. He was among the first to detect bacteriophage activity. His studies of geometric patterns in Mughal architecture ("Saracenic art" in the language of his day) later influenced computer scientists.
Life and career
He was educated at Merchant Taylors School, University College London and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School and he was an Associate Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. In 1892 he accepted the position of Chemical Examiner and Bacteriologist to the Government of the United Provinces and of the Central Provinces of India. In 1896 he published, through the Pasteur Institute, "L'action bactericide des eaux de la Jumna et du Gange sur le vibrion du cholera", a paper in which he described the antibacterial activity of a then unknown source in the Ganges and Jumna Rivers in India. He suggested that it was responsible for limiting the spread of cholera. While Hankin did not study this phenomenon further, his work was nonetheless recognized a generation later as being among the first observations of bacteriophage activity which Félix d'Herelle later described at the Pasteur Institute.
Hankin started the practice of using potassium permanganate in wells as a means for controlling cholera. The editors of the journal Science Progress lamented that Hankin had been largely unrecognized for his contributions to human health and hygiene: "Hankin's work has been of greater importance to India than the work or no-work of many persons who have received more honours and acknowledgements. Really, in some respects the British remain barbarians to the present day, and he should write an article on the mental ability of the Indian Powers-that-Be !" The efficacy of this method of disinfecting wells was however questioned in later studies.
Hankin wrote "On the Epidemiology of Plague" in the Journal of Hygiene in 1905, but by now his interests had drifted towards the subject of flight. In 1914 he published Animal Flight about soaring flight in birds, based on observations he made, particularly of gulls and vultures, in Agra. He introduced a technique to plot the flight path of soaring birds by tracing their movements on a horizontal mirror. He identified thermals and currents as a requirement for soaring and dynamic soaring. With D. M. S. Watson he also published a pioneering paper on the flight of Pterodactyls in the Aeronautical Journal (1914).
He returned to England in the early 1920s where he continued his research into the dynamics of flight continued. In 1923, Time magazine carried the following short notice on his exploits: "Much interest is taken in England in the problems of air gliding. People on a London Common saw a strange sight—an elderly gentleman playing with a toy aeroplane. He was Dr. E. H. Hankin ... and he was experimenting with a model glider."
In 1922 he made a study of Quakers and their education. Between 1851 and 1900 he calculated that a man had 46 times more chance of being elected to the FRS if he was a Quaker or of Quaker descent. He attributed this to the superior mental ability that came out of enhancing intuition rather than the development of conscious reasoning that certain educational systems imposed.
In his 1928 book, The Cave Man's Legacy, Hankin compares monkey and ape behavioural traits and their analogs in humans.
While in India, he wrote about Islamic star patterns he had observed there, but publication was delayed until 1925. "The Drawing of Geometric Patterns in Saracenic Art" was finally published in Memoirs of the Archaeological Sourvey of India, under the editorship of J. F. Blakiston. Many of these patterns are aperiodic penrose tilings. This and later writings have influenced computer scientists and mathematicians in recent years.
- Animal Flight: a record of observation (1914)
- The Mental Limitations of the Expert (1920)
- Common Sense and its Cultivation (1925)
- The Cave Man's Legacy (1928)
- Nationalism and the Communal Mind (1937)
- Anonymous (1939). "E. Hanbury Hankin, Sc. D". The British Medical Journal 1 (4085): 850–851. PMC 2209548.
- Hankin E H. (1896). "L'action bactericide des eaux de la Jumna et du Gange sur le vibrion du cholera". Annales de l'Institut Pasteur (in French) 10: 511–523.
- Sulakvelidze, Alexander; Zemphira Alavidze, and J. Glenn Morris, Jr. (2001). "Bacteriophage Therapy". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 45 (3): 649–659. doi:10.1128/AAC.45.3.649-659.2001. PMC 90351. PMID 11181338.
- Rao, C Hayavadana, ed. (1915). The Indian Biographical Dictionary. Madras: Pillar and Co. pp. 176–177.
- Anonymous (1939). "Obituary: Dr. E. H. Hankin". Nature 143 (3626): 711–712. Bibcode:1939Natur.143..711H. doi:10.1038/143711b0.
- Hankin, EH (1898). "A simple method of checking Cholera in Indian villages". British Medical Journal 1 (1934): 205–207. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.1934.205. PMC 2410828.
- Anonymous (1923). "Notes". Science Progress 17: 301.
- Dhingra, M. L. (1901). "The Fallacy Of The Permanganate Disinfection Of Wells (Hankin's Method)". The British Medical Journal 2 (2120): 414–415.
- WS (1915). "Review: Hankin on Animal Flight". Auk 32 (2): 245–247. doi:10.2307/4072454.
- Hankin EH & J. D. North (1924). "On the Angle of Incidence in Soaring Flight". Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 22 (2): 186–188. Bibcode:1924PCPS...22..186H. doi:10.1017/S0305004100002929.
- Octave Levenspeil, "Atmospheric Pressure at the Time of Dinosaurs" Chemical Engineering Department, Oregon State University, n. d.
- Time Magazine, 10 March 1923
- Hankin, EH (1922). "The mental ability of the Quakers". Science Progress 16: 654–664.
- Hankin, EH. "The mental ability of the Quakers". Science Progress 17: 304–307.
- Hankin, EH (1905). "On some discoveries of the methods of design employed in Mohammedan art". J. Society of Arts 53: 461–477.
- Hankin, EH (1925). "The Drawing of Geometric Patterns in Saracenic Art". Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India 15.
- Hankin, EH (1925). "Examples of methods of drawing geometrical arabesque patterns". Mathematical Gazette 12 (176): 370–373. doi:10.2307/3604213.
- Hankin, EH (1934). "Some difficult Saracenic designs II". Mathematical Gazette 18 (229): 165–168. doi:10.2307/3606813.
- Hankin, EH (1936). "Some difficult Saracenic designs III". Mathematical Gazette 20 (241): 318–319. doi:10.2307/3607312.
- Paper on Computer-based Islamic Star Patterns
- Kaplan C. (2005). "Islamic Star Patterns from Polygons in Contact". In Kori Inkpen and Michiel van de Panne. Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2005 (Victoria, Canada, 9-11 May 2005). A K Peters. pp. 177–185.
- Taprats, Islamic Star Patterns (Computer generated)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ernest Hanbury Hankin.|
- English translation of 1896 paper on bacteriophages
- Hankin, E. H. (1914). Animal flight; a record of observation. Illife and sons, London
- Study of Bird Flight (1911)