He continues to be credited as an influential contributor to science, especially in the areas of evolution, humanism and even eugenics, which has always been an extremely controversial topic and continues to be so.
The relation between nudism and eugenics was complex, and use of an aesthetic discourse is no simple marker of eugenic thought or of fascism.
Caleb Saleeby, for example, was a fervent advocate of nudism, heliotherapy, and eugenics (he was Chairman of the National Birthrate Commission and author of a number of books on eugenics).
Nudist writing intersected with a raft of other modern discourses-heliotherapy (sun-cure), sexology, socialism, feminism, and eugenics.
The questions raised by these considerations have attracted much public attention under the newly invented name of " eugenics," but they are of an exceedingly difficult and delicate nature.
The founder of this science may be said to be Sir Francis Galton, who has done much to further its study, not only by his writings, but by the establishment of a research fellowship and scholarship in eugenics in the university of London.
EUGENICS (from the Gr.
The idea that systematic efforts should be made to improve the breed of mankind by checking the birth-rate of the unfit and furthering the productivity of the fit was first put forward by him in 1865; he mooted it again in 1884, using the term "eugenics" for the first time in Human Faculty, and in 1904 he endowed a research fellowship in the university of London for the promotion of knowledge of that subject, which was defined as "the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally."
Works by Galton bearing on eugenics are: Hereditary Genius (2nd ed., 1892), Human Faculty (1883), Natural Inheritance (1889), Huxley Lecture of the Anthropol.