Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Emergence of Scientific Anthropology. Frequently cited in the literature as the ‘Father of Scientific Anthropology’, the comparative anatomist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach played a formative role in establishing anthropology as a scientific discipline in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Formally a professor of medicine at the University of Göttingen in the German Duchy of Hannover, his career as an academic spanned a remarkably long and productive six decades between 1776 to his retirement in 1835. It was a time that witnessed anthropology’s rise from the Enlightenment’s humanistic and philosophical orientation in the study of man to a more directed scientific approach in establishing it as a separate branch of study. In the German-speaking lands in particular, a concerted effort among a relatively large and varied group of thinkers emerged to ground the study of man on firmer scientific principles, with numerous books related to anthropology appearing at this time. Animal Diversity Web. Catalogue of Life - 24th October 2011. Bios de naturalistes voyageurs. Histoire comparée et anthropologie des pratiques savantes. Buffon et l'histoire naturelle : l'édition en ligne.