Bateson, William

Bateson, William

biographical name


William Bateson, drawing by Sir William Rothenstein, 1917; in the National Portrait Gallery, London—Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

(born Aug. 8, 1861, Whitby, Yorkshire, Eng.—died Feb. 8, 1926, London) British biologist. In 1900, while studying inheritance of traits, he was drawn to the research of Gregor Mendel, which explained perfectly the results of his own plant experiments. He was the first to translate Mendel's major work into English. With Reginald Crundall Punnett, he published the results of a series of breeding experiments that not only extended Mendel's principles to animals but also showed that, contrary to Mendel, certain features were consistently inherited together, a phenomenon that came to be termed linkage (see linkage group). In 1908 he became Britain's first professor of genetics, and in 1909 he introduced the term genetics. He opposed Thomas Hunt Morgan's theory of chromosomes. Gregory Bateson was his son. See also Carl Erich Correns; Hugo de Vries; Erich Tschermak von Seysenegg.

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