G. P. Wells

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George Philip Wells FRS[1] (17 July 1901 – 27 September 1985), son of the British science fiction author H. G. Wells, was a zoologist and author. He co-authored, with his father and Julian Huxley, The Science of Life.[2] A pupil at Oundle School, he was in the first class to learn Russian as a modern language in a British school. He accompanied his father to Soviet Russia in 1920, acting as his Russian translator and exchanging ideas with Russian zoology students. He won an entrance Exhibition to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became Senior Scholar in his first year of residence.[3]

Wells, a comparative physiologist, worked on invertebrates of several phyla. He determined their tolerance for changes in the salinity and the ionic balance of the surrounding water, and analysed the water relations of land gastropods.

For the latter part of his career he was a member of staff in the Zoology Department of University College London, eventually as professor. His range of zoological knowledge was notably wide, and his main research was on the behaviour of the lugworm Arenicola. He determined its habits by elegant experiments, and showed that the rhythm which controls many of its activities arises in the oesophagus. Such spontaneous rhythmic activity was shown to occur in many polychaetes.

He was known to all by his nickname, Gip, and appears by this name in his father's fictional story The Magic Shop. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955.[1]

Wells also published the 1971 (and last) edition of his father's The Outline of History in the wake of Raymond Postgate's death in March of that year. Postgate had revised four previous editions following HG Wells' death in 1946, published in 1949, 1956, 1961 and 1969.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fogg, G. E. (1986). "George Philip Wells. 17 July 1901-27 September 1985". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 32: 650–626. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1986.0022.  edit
  2. ^ Wells H.G. Huxley J.S. and Wells G.P. 1929-30. The Science of Life: a summary of contemporary knowledge about life and its possibilities. First issued in 31 fortnightly parts published by Amalgamated Press, bound up in three volumes as publication proceeded. First issued in one volume by Cassell in 1931.
  3. ^ Lancelot Hogben, 1998. Scientific Humanist, edited by Adrian Hogben and Anne Hogben