The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Julian Huxley

Sir Julian Sorell Huxley (June 22, 1887 - February 14, 1975) was a British biologist and author, known for his popularizations of science in books and lectures..

Huxley was part of a distinguished family. His brother was the writer Aldous Huxley; his father was writer and editor Leonard Huxley; and his paternal grandfather was biologist T. H. Huxley, famous as a colleague and supporter of Charles Darwin.

He was also a friend and mentor of the biologist Konrad Lorenz.

Huxley was the first Director-General of UNESCO and a founder of the World Wildlife Fund. He wrote popular science books, including Essays of a Biologist and . He was knighted in 1958. In later life, he became known to an even wider audience through television and radio appearances. He was a regular panellist on one of the BBC's first quiz shows, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral ?

Huxley was instrumental in dismantling race as a scientific concept which helped undermine eugenics. In 1936 he collaborated on the book We Europeans with fellow Briton A. C. Haddon , which amongst other things suggested the word race be replaced with ethnic group. Following the Second World War he was instrumental in producing the UNESCO statement on race, which asserted that race is a cultural concept and not a scientific one. In particular the UNESCO statement helped destroy the idea that Jewish people form a distinct racial group - a key plank in Nazi and other ideologies that led to the Holocaust.

Huxley coined the terms "mentifacts ", "socifacts " and "artifacts" to describe how cultural traits take on a life of their own, spanning over generations. This idea is related to memetics.


  • Essays of a Biologist (1923)
  • Animal Biology (with J. B. S. Haldane, 1927)
  • Religion Without Revelation (1927, revised 1957)
  • The Tissue-Culture King (1927)
  • The Science of Life (with H G Wells - 1931)
  • Scientific Research and Social Needs (1934)
  • Thomas Huxley's Diary of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake (1935)
  • We Europeans (with A. C. Haddon, 1936)
  • The Living Thoughts of Darwin (1939)
  • The New Systematics (1940)
  • Evolution: the Modern Synthesis (1942)
  • Evolutionary Ethics (1943)
  • Touchstone for Ethics (1947)
  • Man in the Modern World (1947)
  • Heredity, East and West (1949)
  • Biological Aspects of Cancer (1957)
  • Towards a New Humanism (1957)
  • New Bottles for New Wine (1958)
  • The Humanist Frame (1962) elaborated to Essays of a Humanist (1964)
  • From an Antique Land (1966)
  • The Courtship Habits of the Great Grebe (1968)
  • Memories (2 vol., 1971 and 1974)

External links

  • overview article
  • "Transhumanism" essay from New Bottles for New Wine
  • essay from Essays of a Humanist
  • guide to Huxley's papers, 91 linear feet, and a bio.

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13