D'Arcy Thompson

This is a public blog and community that explores the projects and experiments of D’Arcy Thompson. We bring out the best of our community by sharing the experiences of D’Arcy Thompson and the people who have met him and shared his story.

About D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

Explore the of D’Arcy Thompson in science and learn about his experiments with other scientists throughout his career.

Quickly Acquired A Reputation

Learn about the early life of D’Arcy Thompson and how he quickly gained a reputation for his work.

Famous Scientific Personalities

Learn about the most famous scientists and visionaries from history.

Founded And

Learn about the contributions of D’Arcy Thompson in the development and inventions of new tech.

D’Arcy Thompson’s Master Work Was “On
Growth And Form”.

D’Arcy was curious about the growth and formation of new technology, which pushed the limits of how others saw technology in his time. He was curious to explore more and bring new inventions to the table that will help in the growth of the country and the world.

Knighted In 1937, D’Arcy Was A Polymath

D’Arcy Thompson was honoured by the Queen for his work in the field of science and his contribution to society. Read about his early success and long term contributions to science and society.


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D’Arcy Thompson Died In 1948

Latest From Our Blog

On Growth And Form

As the name suggests, it is one of the most important books about biology written in English, where most Biologists prefer. The 1950s is the period of domination by DNA; maybe the time has come again.

About the Author

Thompson was a professor of natural history who was born in 1860. The Nobel prize awardee Peter Medawar described him as “an aristocrat of learning whose intellectual endowments are not likely ever again to be combined within one man.” Medawar reviewed the book On Growth and Form, and he believed that the book is beyond comparison as it is the finest work of literature in all the annals of science recorded in English.

Natural History

Natural History

Understanding the book gets more accessible if we get to know about biology back in the times. Natural history is a study of creatures that can be seen not just as molecules assemblies or passive vehicles at mercy but as wondrous beings which appear in beautiful colours, habits, and shapes.

On Growth And Form

On Growth and Form is the explanation of living organisms that are as much as inanimate crystals and are subjected to the physical forces determining the shapes. The myriads in the sea have crystal forms matching the snowflakes. The drop of water and a jellyfish have a similar configuration and consider the honeycomb’s compartments’ almost perfect hexagonal factor. Darwin attributes the bee’s elegance and instincts or conscious intentions. Thomson shows how the six-sided columns are formed by giving examples when you squeeze the bread piece together.

Mathematical wonders

These biological features are Followed by the mathematical what does. The sunflower seed head spirals, which are like the whorls of the pine cone, are arranged in a series of Fibonacci,  in which each turn of spiral some up to the number of seeds to two preceding numbers, 1,1,2,3,5,8  and so on.

Test of time

Not every part of On growth and form has not stood the test of time. In the discussion of cell structure, new techniques are added, like Thompson’s morphology shapes and the physical force that determines its abundance to any reference of Biochemistry or physiology. Emphasises. He was surprised to see how the double helix of DNA,  multiply and structures of proteins, for the crystalline form of a virus confirmed his mathematical principles. Though his formulae have been uncovered, he would indeed have acknowledged the biochemical processes elegantly which lye under the pattern formation.

Fundamental differences

in the downplay of the role of natural selection of Thomson, there were more fundamental differences that lay and were the reason for his failure to recognise the biology e as a historical propounded discipline. It is so much of the present than that of the past.

The Scientist Who Cracked A Biology Mystery Using Math!

The Scientist who cracked a biology mystery using math!

Do the fishes get into the same shape if you stretch them?

Is there any theory for the shape of fishes? It might feel kind of like asking for a simple Program and asking for the forms that they produce. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson is a person who made everyone think as it’s not the kind of thing which anyone could ever ask in most of the history of biology.

D'Arcy Thompson

A hundred years later-

It’s nearly been a hundred years since D’Arcy Thompson’s first edition of Magnum Opus got published. He used various ideas from physics and Mathematics to discuss the questions worldwide about biological growth and form. The most famous pages of his books are the ones which are about the shapes of fish.

Stretch the Fish!

The famous page of his book said about the stretching of any kind of fish. If you stretch one type of fish, it looks similar to the other regardless of how you stretch it. It is not clear what It is actually to ask is exciting and as it is to say about the unknown facts and the bookings On Growth and Form is an exceptional topic that has fascinating questions with some curious and interesting answers.

British Victorian Academic

A British Victorian Academic

D’Arcy Thompson was a quintessential British Victorian Academic who stepped in the classics and wrote books with unique titles like “A Glossary of Greek Fishes.” This is one book that described a fish in Greek texts classically.  He was also a natural scientist and was very interested in physics and Mathematics.

Rubber sheets and stretches

He entertained his daughter at Christmas time by drawing the dog’s picture on the Rubber sheer shine and stretching them to dachshunds from poodles. Not until he was aged to 57 that he turned such a pursuit into the piece of scholarship that is “On Growth and Form.”



Darwinism is the dominant explanation in biology at the time of Thompson’s time, to a large extent. The idea of his, which was truly unique, is that the things are in the way as such because they have evolved somehow to get to this way. He actually didn’t think it was an essential part of the story. Still, He thought many natural forms are in their own way as it is an inevitable feature of the Mathematics of geometrical shapes and physics of biological tissues.

Jellyfishes and water

His story or the explanations were a great success in many cases, but it used to fall a little flat in some. His other theories say that the leaves are not in shape like polar plots of trigonometric functions. The drops of ink in water are not the shape of jellyfish. But he tells the truth and explains it well. The closest geometrical disk packings are Hexagonal. Logarithms are formed by sheep horns and nautilus shells.

Top 10 Biological Discoveries

Top 10 biological discoveries

Classification of living things

Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, is considered the most incredible biological Discoverer. Classified the living things, which were revolutionaries. He referred to it as a ladder of life, and it was used up to the 19th century. He was the first person to recognise the relationship between the different species and organise them accordingly.

Early medical experimentation

Galen revolutionised Medical Research and its way of being conducted. He was a Greek physician who had significant influence in developing medicine, including Pathology, e anatomy, neurology, and Physiology. he discovered the identification of differences between arteries and veins and recognising that the voice is generated by the larynx



The contributions to the microscope are well known by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and how he applied them to the field of Biology. The technique of creating powerful lenses was revolutionised by him, which can speculate the magnification up to 500 times. He discovered the living world through microscopes and discovered bacteria, a graphical of a cell and the Banded pattern of muscle fibres.

Modern taxonomy

Physician,  Zoologist, and botanist, Carl Linnaeus, came up with a system of ranking, naming and classifying organisms which we use today. His vast collection of animals, plants, and shells made him think to group and name this species. He separated the living things into three kingdoms, plants, animals, and Minerals and later subdivided them into classes.

 Theory of evolution

Charles Darwin is one of the most famous naturalists of all time, and his contribution to society and Biology is immense. He discovered All the species are evolved from the same or a common ancestor. He was disputing the belief that God has created all the species at the beginning of the world. Still, the modern revolutionaries now accept the evolution by natural selection combined with the Genetics of Mendel.

Modern genetics

George Mendel contributor extraordinary but didn’t get the recognition that he deserves until the death of the Friar. He used peas to demonstrate the laws of genetic inheritance and naming the term dominant and recessive genes in the process.

Jumping genes

Barbara Mcclintock is an American geneticist who spent her career analysing maize, where identifying and examining chromosomes individually was the technique she developed. It is not immediately recognised but how work made it possible to locate the human genomes.

DNA structure

the DNA structure was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick, for which they won the medical Nobel Prize. The model of DNA explains how it replicates, and genetic information is coded and passed.

Understanding chimpanzees

Understanding chimpanzees

Jane Goodall is the person because of whom our knowledge of wildlife and conservation has been transformed. She studied chimpanzees and discovered that the animals are all users and omnivorous.

Cloning a mammal

Ian Willmott and Kate Campbell cloned a mammal which is named Dolly, the Sheep. The cloned Dolly by using the process of nuclear transfer and a single adult shape cell. Dolly died after six years, but the cloning continued, although it was not perfect and not certainly ready for human application.

D’arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

D’Arcy Thompson Zoology museum

This Museum house of the university is one of the fascinating specimens from all around the world. The celebrated D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson collected the maximum of the specimens. At Dundee, he was the first professor of biology, and there are many Images on this site with proof of the fraction of the collection.

Opening Hours

As the Museum is for treating the students on the regular days at the University, The Museum is not open every day. However, it is open on the second Saturday afternoon of every month and the Friday afternoons while the summer vacations are on. It is also available on some of the occasional days, such as Easter and doors open day. The appointment for a visit can be taken at other times also.

Exhibition in the zoology museum

The Gaff-

zoology museum

The Gaff was created by David Blyth and Nick Gordon inspired by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s specimens. Their Response for this Scientific visionary man features a wide range of sculptured works, which helps explore ideas of material culture and accept the code of Museum experience.

Botanica Mathematica

As the name suggests, botanica Mathematica is an exhibition in the museum, which is the textile taxonomy of Plant forms inspired by mathematics. Madeline Shepherd and Julia Collins created this combined idea from D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form, fractals, computer science and hyperbolic geometry.

Pole Tay Pole

Dundee literary festival

This is an exhibition created by the laboratory illustration students from Jordan stone college of art and design in Dunkin inspired by the artworks of historical connections with polar exploration and whaling.

Main Collections

The primary collection in the museum is the sculpture of different species, which are indeed an excellent experience for the zoology students to learn more about these creatures and species in detail.


On growth and form hundred

it is an international celebration for most of the influential book writers from Dundee. It is a three-day interdisciplinary conference organised and the university where D’Arcy spent most of his time and career surviving his precious collections.

Free public lecture

as a part of the growth and form hundred conference, the computer scientist Stephen Wolfram is the unique key, not lecture, which is also an internationally renowned person speaking about the influence of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson on his work and computational form development.

Dundee literary festival

The theme for this year’s festival is growth and form. Matthew Jarron, who is the curator, will discuss the book and its influence on this event. Also, there will be a chance to buy the new Publications that celebrate the hundred years centenary.

Creative coding

This is a workshop for designing and coding by Genetic Moo to learn animation and artificial life. You need to create your virtual organisations with computer art. you can learn how to design your creatures digitally in the first half of the session, where you can experiment with different body parts sensors and muscles.