Reginald Ruggles Gates

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Reginald Ruggles Gates
Born (1882-05-01)May 1, 1882
Died August 12, 1962(1962-08-12) (aged 80)
Fields Spermatophytes, Oenothera[1]
Alma mater McGill University
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[2]
Author abbrev. (botany)
Spouse Marie Stopes (1911-1914, annulled)
Jennie Williams (1929, dissolved)
Laura Greer (1955-)[4]

Reginald Ruggles Gates (May 1, 1882 – August 12, 1962), was a Canadian born anthropologist, botanist, and geneticist. He did most of his work in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Early life[edit]

Reginald Ruggles Gates was born on May 1, 1882 near Middleton, Nova Scotia. He had a twin sister named Charlotte.[2]

Gates received his Bachelor of Science from McGill University with further education in Chicago and London.


Gates did botanical work in Missouri in 1910. Later, he was a Professor of Biology at King's College London.[5] He was known for his studies of Oenothera and other plants.[6]

Gates was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1931.[1][2] His nomination reads

Additionally, Gates was a eugenicist. In 1923, he wrote Heredity and Eugenics. He maintained his ideas on race and eugenics long after World War II, into the era when these were deemed anachronistic.[8] He was a founder of Mankind Quarterly and the International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics.[5] He was a strong opponent of interracial marriage and, according to A.S. Winston, "argued that races were separate species."[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1911, Gates married Marie Stopes, but the marriage was annulled in 1914. In 1955, he married Laura Greer.

Death and legacy[edit]

Gates died on August 12, 1962. He is memorialized by the Ruggles Gates Award at Mount Allison University.[9][10]


Illustration from Heredity in Man
  • Heredity in Man. (1929). Constable & Company.
  • A botanist in the Amazon Valley. (1927). H. F. & G. Witherby.
  • Human Genetics. (1946). The Macmillan company (2 volumes).
  • "Racial elements in the aborigines of Queensland, Australia". (Jan. 1960). Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie. Bd. 50. H. 2. pp. 150–166.


  1. ^ a b Alan R. Rushton (2004). "Gates, Reginald Ruggles (1882–1962)". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33355. 
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, J. A. F. (1964). "Reginald Ruggles Gates 1882-1962". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 10: 83–26. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1964.0006. 
  3. ^ "Author Query for 'R.R.Gates'". International Plant Names Index. 
  4. ^ "Reginald Ruggles Gates (1882-1962): botanist, cytologist and anthropologist. FRS 1931.". John Innes Centre. John Innes Centre. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Winston, Andrew S. (Spring 1998). "Science in the service of the far right: Henry E. Garrett, the IAAEE, and the Liberty Lobby - International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology - Experts in the Service of Social Reform: SPSSI, Psychology, and Society, 1936-1996". Journal of Social Issues 54: 179–210. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1998.tb01212.x. 
  6. ^ Mendel's Legacy: The Origin of Classical Genetics By Elof Axel Carlson, pg 128
  7. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue, Reginald Ruggles Gates". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2013-12-23. 
  8. ^ The Retreat of Scientific Racism By Elazar Barkan 168-175
  9. ^ The Ruggles Gates Award
  10. ^ The Ruggles Gates Chair In Biology