H. E. Hinton
Professor Howard Everest Hinton, FRS (24 August 1912 - 2 August 1977) was a British entomologist. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of insects and was inordinately fond of beetles. He published 309 scientific papers, many of which were concerned with insect morphology and taxonomy. He founded and edited the Journal of Insect Physiology. He introduced an extra stage in the metamorphosis of insects, the pharate stage, in which the insect has produced a new exoskeleton in preparation for ecdysis but is still enclosed in the remnants of the old one. He was an early proponent of continental drift, based on the close relationship between non-migratory water beetles of the family Elmidae in rivers in New Guinea and northern Australia. He worked extensively on insect eggs, particularly the way in which they respire.
Howard Hinton grew up in Mexico and attended the University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and then worked at the Natural History Museum in London. In 1949, he moved to the University of Bristol where he spent the rest of his life.
Howard Hinton married Margaret Clark, a teacher, in 1938 and they had four children, Charlotte who became a headmistress, James who became a Professor of History at the University of Warwick, Geoffrey Hinton who is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto and Teresa who is a social policy researcher in Tasmania. His father, George Hinton, was a mining engineer and botanist who managed a silver mine in Mexico and collected many new botanical specimens, some of which are in Kew gardens. Howard Hinton's nephew, also called George Hinton, has a farm in Mexico and discovered a new genus of cacti that are named after him.
Howard Hinton was a great grandson of George Boole, the founder of mathematical logic. His cousins include Joan Hinton, one of the few female scientists at Los Alamos who later moved to Beijing, and William Hinton who wrote "Fanshen", a book about the Chinese revolution which he observed firsthand while working for the UN in China in 1949. His grandfather, Charles Howard Hinton was a mathematician who worked on the concept of four-dimensional space and had to leave Victorian England when he was found guilty of bigamy.
He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society on 16 March 1961. His graduate students include Robin Baker and Geoff Parker. His papers are at Bristol University, where he worked. Most of his insect collection is housed at the Natural History Museum in London.
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- Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1978 vol 24 pp 151–182, plate, by George Salt