Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, CB FRS FRSE

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Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, CB FRS FRSE

Death: 1948 (87-88)
Immediate Family:

Son of D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson and Fanny Thompson
Half brother of William Lowell Thompson; Fanny Thompson; Eileen Sarah Dunlop; Dolly Thompson; Mary Donaldson and 1 other

Occupation: Scholar-Naturalist.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, CB FRS FRSE

Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson CB FRS FRSE was a Scottish biologist, mathematician, and classics scholar. He was a pioneer of mathematical biology. He went on collecting expeditions to the Bering Straits and held the position of Professor of Natural History at St Andrews for 31 years.

Thompson is mainly remembered as the author of the distinctive 1917 book On Growth and Form, written largely in Dundee in 1915. Peter Medawar, the 1960 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, called it "the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue". The book led the way for the scientific explanation of morphogenesis, the process by which patterns are formed in plants and animals. Thompson recognised, however, that the book was descriptive, and did not present experimental hypotheses.

Thompson's description of the mathematical beauty of nature stimulated thinkers such as Alan Turing and artists including Henry Moore and Jackson Pollock. The Zoology Museum in Dundee, named for Thompson, displays a collection of artworks inspired by his ideas. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, was knighted, and received the Darwin Medal and the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal.

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