Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Manouvrier, Léonce-Pierre

French anthropometrician, physiologist, student of Paul Broca; it was Manouvrier who entertained Aleö Hrdlicka in 1896 during his visit to Paris (Hrdlicka had been a student there, and they had remained friends). Director of the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie at the École (1903-1927); his views were very different from Broca’s: Manouvrier was a functional anatomist who recognized a large environmental influence on appearance, and avoided association with Broca’s scientific racism, which was used to justify French colonial enterprises. In 1885, Manouvrier calculated a relative brain mass after dividing the brain into two parts, one for intelligence and a second for innervation of the body; his formulae were not accepted. He was one of the first to argue that the absolute differences in the brain mass of women and men were due to body size alone, and thus that women should be accorded more rights. Inventor of the platycnemic index and the platymeric index.

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