Gregory Bateson

(1904 - 1980)

A British-born anthropologist, Gregory Bateson wrote ethnographic studies about New Guinean and Balinese culture and often did fieldwork—collecting thousands of photographs and film clips relating to child-rearing and character formation in the South Pacific—with anthropologist Margaret Mead, whom he married in 1936. In Mind and Nature, published one year before his death in 1980, Bateson argued that sexual reproduction constitutes a kind of forgetting crucial to the process of evolution. “By return to the unlearned and mass-produced egg, the ongoing species again and again clears its memory banks to ready for the new.”

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