HE IS REGARDED AS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF BIOGERONTOLOGY, WAS THE FIRST BIOSTATISTICIAN TO USE MATHEMATICS AS A WAY TO INTERPRET POPULATION GENETICS, AND FOR A WHILE A SUPPORTER OF THE CONTROVERSIAL SCIENCE OF EUGENICS WITH HIS PUBLICATION “BREEDING BETTER MEN” AND HIS KEYNOTE SPEECH AT THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL EUGENICS CONFERENCE IN LONDON (1912). HOWEVER IN 1927 HE SURPRISED THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AND HIS PEERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BY RENOUNCING THE ENTIRE MOVEMENT.
RAYMOND PEARL (1879-1940) SIGNED NOTE, “Raymond Pearl”, on a card 4.25 x 3.5, 24 Sept., 1927, by the American biologist who is regarded as one of the founders of biogerontology, the subfield of gerontology concerned with the biological aging process. He was professor of biology in the Medical School and in the school of Hygiene and Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University. He was a prolific writer of academic books, papers, and articles, as well as a committed populariser and communicator of science: he is credited with authoring over 840 publications. In 1918 he developed a department of laboratory statistics when he was recruited by John Hopkins University to be the Professor of Biometry and Vital Statistics, in which he worked with the development and application of statistics methods to a wide range of topics in biology and was one of the first biostatisticians to use mathematics as a way to interpret population genetics. He became director of a new Institute of Biological Research at Johns Hopkins in 1925 that was aimed at examining the genetics and environmental factors of disease. Pearl was a eugenicist who, although he tried to be quantitative, objective, and systematic, his classifications of different races were influenced by social norms and prejudices. However in 1927 he published the landmark article The Biology of Superiority which attacked the basic assumptions of eugenics. Also, population density effects on duration of life, is thought, by population biologist, to be Raymond Pearl’s greatest contribution to biological science. His handwritten note, in full: “Why anyone should want to preserve my signature is difficult for me to understand, but here it is.” The card is in fine condition, with minor age toning.