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Science And Nature

Am I Normal? review: Deep-dive sets us straight on our dependence on norms

With regards to human physiology, behaviour and social interaction, it’s time to abandon a 200-year search for normal people, argues Sarah Chaney in her new book

Humans 10 August 2022

By Simon Ings

group of people standing very close - one person looking up

Henrik Sorensen/Getty images

Am I Normal?

Sarah Chaney

Wellcome Collection

A couple of unusual gloves, owned by 19th-century polymath Francis Galton, lie in University College London. Galton was the person who coined the word eugenics to spell it out beliefs and practices that try to enhance the genetic quality of a population.

His motto was once you can, count, so he made a decision to put a pin in the thumb of his left glove and a felt pad, included in a strip of paper, across its fingers. By touching different fingers with the pin, Galton could track the items he saw without others noticing.


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