Francis Galton, the author of Hereditary Genius (1869), was a cousin of Charles Darwin, and the first person to use the word ‘eugenics’ - the science of improving the genetic quality of a population. His book explored the notion of inherited genius. He argued that eugenics could lead to greater happiness in society.

In the book, Galton examined people with a high level of intellectual skill, assessing whether their offspring had succeeded in certain high-profile professions. Galton’s results suggested that intellectual ability was more common in direct descendants.