Reginald Ruggles Gates

Reginald Ruggles Gates

Reginald Ruggles Gates
Born (1882-05-01)May 1, 1882
Died August 12, 1962(1962-08-12) (aged 80)
Fields Spermatophytes, Oenothera[1]
Alma mater McGill University
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[2]
Author abbrev. (botany)
Spouse Marie Stopes (1911-1914, annulled)
Jennie Williams (1929, dissolved)
Laura Greer (1955-)[4]
Reginald Ruggles Gates (May 1, 1882 – August 12, 1962), was a Canadian born anthropologist, botanist, and geneticist. He did most of his work in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Early life

Reginald Ruggles Gates was born on May 1, 1882 near Middleton, Nova Scotia. He had a twin sister named Charlotte.[2]

Gates received his Bachelor of Science from McGill University with further education in Chicago and London.


Gates did botanical work in Missouri in 1910. Later, he was a Professor of Biology at King's College London.[5] He was known for his studies of Oenothera and other plants.[6]

Gates was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1931.[1][2] His nomination reads

Additionally, Gates was a eugenicist. In 1923, he wrote Heredity and Eugenics. He maintained his ideas on race and eugenics long after World War II, into the era when these were deemed anachronistic.[8] He was a founder of Mankind Quarterly and the International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics.[5] He was a strong opponent of interracial marriage and, according to A.S. Winston, "argued that races were separate species."[5]

Personal life

In 1911, Gates married Marie Stopes, but the marriage was annulled in 1914. In 1955, he married Laura Greer.

Death and legacy

Gates died on August 12, 1962. He is memorialized by the Ruggles Gates Award at Mount Allison University.[9][10]


Illustration from Heredity in Man
  • Heredity in Man. (1929). Constable & Company.
  • A botanist in the Amazon Valley. (1927). H. F. & G. Witherby.
  • Human Genetics. (1946). The Macmillan company (2 volumes).
  • "Racial elements in the aborigines of Queensland, Australia". (Jan. 1960). Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie. Bd. 50. H. 2. pp. 150–166.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ Mendel's Legacy: The Origin of Classical Genetics By Elof Axel Carlson, pg 128
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Retreat of Scientific Racism By Elazar Barkan 168-175
  9. ^ The Ruggles Gates Award
  10. ^ The Ruggles Gates Chair In Biology