Website Search
ID 12023

"Report on the work of the Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics, February1908-June 1909" (1)

"Report on the work of the Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics, February1908-June 1909" (1)
Description:
"Report on the work of the Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics, February1908-June 1909" (1)
Transcript:
2116. [stamped]University College London Pearson Papers[end stamp] 57 in more than a hundred families. The draughtsmanship has been excellent, and the Laboratory has been very fortunate in obtaining her aid. In view of the large amount of work to be done for the [italics]Treasury of Human Inheritance[end italics], I think, if our funds admitted, it would be desirable to offer Miss Ryley a small paid appointment, say [British pound symbol]45 per annum, instead of paying her by the plate for four days' work a week. If we look at the publications which are completed and issued, we find that the cost of printing has been about [British pound symbol]250, and up to date [British pound symbol]80, or somewhat more than 30 per cent., has been repaid to the University by the sale of memoirs. I consider this sale as satisfactory, when it is noted that large numbers of the memoirs are given away, others are exchanged for periodicals and other publications, and further that the sale has been continuous, and will, I think, be steady. I believe that ultimately 50 to 60 per cent. of the cost of publication will be returned to the Eugenics fund. It must further be remembered that there has been practically no advertising,* and that the price of each publication has been fixed so that a very moderate sale would suffice to cover the initial cost. It has been a difficult point to determine whether a much lower price would not have augmented the circulation, and again not easy to regulate the extent to which free copies have interfered with sales. Judging, however, from the sales of similar scientific memoirs, I think we have done well and that we shall do still better as our publications are better known and increase in range and number. Each new memoir serves as an effective advertisement of the older issues to a new group of readers. An attempt is being made to issue a more popular series of papers under the title of the [italics]Eugenics Laboratory Lecture Series[end italics]. It is proposed to publish in this series lectures delivered by members of the Eugenics Laboratory Staff which place in a simpler form the results of the research work conducted in the Laboratory. The first issue of this series is a reprint of the Boyle Lecture on the Scope of Eugenics, the earlier edition of this lecture by the Oxford Press having been exhausted and the only available copies being those of the German and American reprints. Is has been followed by [italics]The Groundwork of Eugenics[end italics], the Introductory lecture to the course delivered this year by members of the Galton Laboratory, and two further lectures, [italics]The Problem of Practical Eugenics[end italics] and [italics]The Relative Difference of Nurture and Nature[end italics] at press. We have found a considerable number of persons enquire at the Laboratory about various special points, and others are very desirous of understanding the general lines of our work, so that some publication of this kind, which while preserving a strictly academic character, is intelligible without special technical knowledge, has been much needed. A further development of the work of the Laboratory this year has taken place on the teaching side. This appeared to me essential for the full training of the members of the staff. It was desirable that first attempts should be made independently of any official laboratory arrangement. Mr Heron gave early in the session a largely attended lecture on Heredity in the North of London, and followed it up by a discourse on the work of the Eugenics Laboratory before the newly formed Eugenics Education Society of which Mr Galton is Honorary President. Miss Elderton followed with a lecture on the Marriage of First Cousins, based upon her reduction of our Family Measurements and on information collected through enquiries in the [italics]British Medical Journal[end italics]. I was so satisfied by these results that it seemed desirable to institute a regular course of lectures on the Science of Eugenics. These were started on February 23rd and were continued weekly till May 25th. Our object has been, not to obtain a popular audience, but to supply the needs of students of the subject who will attend regularly, and really profit by what we have to teach. For this purpose a small fee was imposed, and no tickets were issued for single lectures. The attendance at the first two lectures was about 50, and at the final lecture was upwards of 100. The audience has been of a very satisfactory type, including a number of medical men and of persons interested in social work. It is probable that an annual course of this kind will be of value, but the preparation of special lectures must somewhat reduce the output of research work, to which the staff has hitherto been wholly devoted. I turn now to what may be termed the routine work of the Laboratory. The collection of family histories has progressed steadily, if not so rapidly as we should like. Much help has, however, been received this year from various sources. In particular, the determination to publish a great [italics]Thesaurus[end italics] of family pedigrees of pathological, physical and mental characters has occupied much of the energies of the staff. The first issue appeared in March and a second issue is all in type. Parts I to III of these issues contain twenty pedigree plates, six plates of skiagrams, photographs, &c., illustrating the inheritance of abnormalities and accounts of 192 families in which some character has been transmitted. The extent of the work involved in organising this [italics]Treasury of Human Inheritance[end italics] will hardly be realised by those who merely turn over its pages. It has involved days of work in libraries, obtaining scarce books from collections abroad, and following up clues and suggestions of all kinds. In particular, it demanded the evolution of special methods of forming, drawing and engraving pedigrees, and of briefly describing the character of individuals. In future it is hoped that a system having been evolved and a mass of material accumulated, as well as a circle of contributors formed, the work of editing and publishing will be lighter.[dagger] I must here acknowledge the splendid assistance I have received from contributors outside the Laboratory, above all Dr W. Bulloch, of the London Hospital Medical College, for his exhaustive treatment of heredity in [italics]Diabetes insipidus, Trophaedema/ Hermaphroditism[end italics], and also for his general account of [italics]Tuberculosis;[end italics] Dr T. Lewis, of the University College Hospital Medical School, for his contributions on inheritance in [italics]Polydactyly, Brachydactyly[end italics] and [italics]Split-Foot;[end italics] Dr W. C. Rivers for his pedigrees of pulmonary tuberculosis; Dr A. R. Urquhart for his work on insanity; and Dr Jobson Horne for his introduction to the section on [italics]Deaf-Mutism[end italics]. In the latter subject I have to thank the Rev. Mr Gilbey, Chaplain to the Royal Association in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb, for yeoman service in following pedigrees up for us, and Miss Barrington for an immense amount of work in collecting from most scattered sources the published pedigrees. We have had to break new ground, form new channels of information, devise new methods of representation, and these difficulties [hairline rule width of page] [footnote]*A single advertisement on the appearance of each new issue in the [italics]British Medical Journal[end italics] and in [italics]Nature[end italics] Recently an advertisement appeared in the new [italics]Journal of Eugenics[end italics] of the Eugenics Education Society. [dagger]I ought to express here my thanks to the College Committee, which, be releasing me from a portion of my duties for six months, has enabled me to get this and other Eugenic Publications at last through the Press. 4594 H [end]
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationPublic EventsNewsstandPartner With UsGiving