William Bateson

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Bateson, William


Born Aug. 8, 1861, in Whitby; died Feb. 8, 1926, in Merton. English biologist; one of the founders of genetics, the name of which he proposed in 1907.

Bateson graduated from Cambridge University and was a professor there from 1908 to 1910. In 1910 he became director of the Institute of Horticulture in Merton. His first studies were devoted to the phylogeny of chordates (1884-86). Bateson energetically disputed the inheritance of acquired characteristics, the discontinuous nature of variation, and the doctrine of the purity of gametes. In 1905 he proposed the “presence-absence” theory in an attempt to explain the appearance of new characteristics in organisms by the suppression of inhibiting factors. Bateson founded the English Journal of Genetics in 1910.


Materials for the Study of Variation. London, 1894.
Mendel’s Principles of Heredity, 3rd ed. Cambridge, 1913.
Problems of Genetics. London, 1913.
References in periodicals archive ?
2) William Bateson, Mendel's Principles of Heredity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909).
And there are several scientists: the Dutchman Hugo De Vries, the German Karl Correns, and the Englishman William Bateson, each of whom might have been more famous had they not all been scooped a generation earlier by Mendel's discovery of the basic laws of genetics.
As Charles Darwin's contemporary William Bateson showed, sometimes the system and its environment coevolve, as in the case of horses and grasslands.