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 Oenothera[1]
Alma mater McGill University
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[2]
Author abbreviation (botany)
Spouse Marie Stopes (1911-1914)
Laura Greer

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. He received his Bachelor of Science from McGill University with further education in Chicago and London. He did botanical work in Missouri in 1910 and later worked in London. He alternated between work in Britain and the United States. He won various awards and in 1931 was elected to the Royal Society.[2][4]

Eugenics[edit]

Gates had become known for his studies of Oenothera and other plants,[5] but in 1923 he brought out Heredity and Eugenics. He had a long interest in eugenics, but it was after this book onward that his reputation as a eugenicist become prominent. He considered racial differences to be great, but did not necessarily believe in a pure form of Caucasian. That stated he believed African Americans to be mentally inferior and attempted to prove this. He maintained his ideas on race and eugenics long after World War II, into the era when these were deemed anachronistic.[6] He was a founder of Mankind Quarterly, which at that time was associated to the International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics.

Personal life[edit]

Gates was born in Nova Scotia. In 1911, he married Marie Stopes, but this marriage was annulled in 1914. In 1955, he married Laura Greer.

Publications[edit]

  • 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.

Awards and honours[edit]

Gates was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1931. His nomination reads

Professor Gates enjoys a widespread reputation as a distinguished investigator of cytological problems and especially in connection with genetics. He has thrown much light on the behaviour of Olnothera, which formed the basis of De Vries well-known theory of mutations. He has trained a number of cytological students, some of whom now fill posts of importance. He is the author of over 100 papers and memoirs, some of which have been published by the Royal Society. Latterly he has paid attention to genetical anthropology and is the author of several books on this subject.[1]

Gates is memorialized by the Ruggles Gates Award at Mount Allison University.[7][8]

References[edit]