Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Julian Huxley letter to G. W. N. Eggers, 1916 MS 057

creator Huxley, Julian
Title: Julian Huxley letter to G. W. N. Eggers
Abstract: Personal letter from biologist Sir Julian Huxley to his student G.W. Hordholtz Eggers regarding their time working together in the biology lab at Rice Institute.
Identification: MS 057
Identification: 50
Quantity: 0.1 Linear Feet1 leaf
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Julian Sorell Huxley (b. June 22, 1887, d. February 14, 1975) was a lecturer in Zoology at Oxford (1910-1912), Research Associate and later Assistant Professor of Biology at Rice Institute (1913-1916), and fought in World War I before returning to Oxford in 1919, where he conducted the famous axolotl experiments and participated in the university's expedition to Spitsbergen. He became Professor of Zoology at King's College, University of London in 1925, but resigned his position in 1927 to collaborate on what would become The Science of Life with H.G. Wells. He was Fullerian Professor of Physiology in the Royal Institution (1927-1929) while working with Wells, however after 1929 he held no academic position. For ten years he was a private person working to advance his ideas about the biological sciences not as a researcher nor as a teacher, but as a writer on scientific developments and their relationship to contemporary social issues.

From 1935-1942 he served as Secretary of the Zoological Society of London, allowing him to encourage solid research on animal behavior while introducing innovative methods for implementing his vision of the zoo as an educational institution. He continued his work as a writer and lecturer and was known throughout war-time Britain for his participation as a panel member of the BBC Brains Trust program. After World War II he helped form Unesco, serving as the organization's first Director-General (1946-1948). Here he set out a program cosmopolitan in vision, one concerned with mankind in relationship with nature and with its past, one in which art and science were equally valued. He also began to articulate fully the concerns which would occupy the later years of his life: the relation of overpopulation to poverty and ignorance, the necessity for the conservation of wilderness and wildlife, and the importance of the renunciation of parochial views on religion and politics. The remainder of his life was spent traveling, lecturing and writing in support of the causes to which he was devoted. Throughout his long career, he contributed significantly to the fields of ethology, ecology and cancer research, and acted as a powerful proponent of neo-Darwinism.

Dr. G.W. Nordholtz Eggers (M.D.) was born January 28, 1896, and died May 2, 1963. A native of Galveston, Eggers attended Rice University and obtained his undergraduate degree in 1917. He served in World War I before returning to earn his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1923. He interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans before returning to the Medical Branch at Galveston to serve as an Instructor of surgery. Later Eggers became a specialist in orthopedic surgery at UT Medical Branch, for which he is perhaps best known, and served on numerous academic and medical boards over his life. He was a prolific writer with numerous scientific publications, especially on fracture treatment and cerebral palsy. Working with crippled children in Texas was a life-long concern for Eggers, and he helped to establish the State Hospital for Crippled and Deformed Children at the UT Medical Branch.

Scope and Contents

Letter from Julian Huxley to G. W. N. Eggers dated June 20, 1916, discussing a book Huxley was sending to Eggers and their time spent working in the lab at Rice Institute. Huxley was apparently on leave for the 1916-1917 academic year and would not return before Eggers graduated.


Access Restriction

This material is open for research.

Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Huxley / Eggers letter must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Index Terms

Biologists -- United States -- Biography
letters (correspondence)
Rice University
Huxley, Julian
Eggers, G.W. Nordholtz

Related Materials

See Julian S. Huxley Papers, MS 50, Woodson Research Center.

Juliette Huxley Papers, MS 474, Woodson Research Center.

Grover Smith Collection, MS 462, Woodson Research Center.

Kenneth Clark Papers, MS 55, Woodson Research Center.

Solly Zuckerman Papers, MS 56, Woodson Research Center.

Huxley letter to Mr. Dyke, MS 58, Woodson Research Center.

Huxley letter to Dawkins, MS 472, Woodson Research Center.

Aldous Huxley letters, MS 498, Woodson Research Center.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Julian Huxley letter to G. W. N. Eggers, MS 57, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dr. Eggers' daughter, Adele E. Roosevelt, and her daughters, in 1997.

Detailed Description of the Collection


1 June 20, 1916 letter