286 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
work. He replied that he "would sound the officers." I have his reply to-night, which I am sending to you. You will see that it is distinctly unfavourable. In the first place, I did not do more than ask him his opinion as to what the Council would be likely to do, if the proposal were made to them. You will see that he speaks of referring it to the Zoological Committee. Now that is hopeless-that body has just refused Pearl's really good bit of biometric work " principally on the ground that they do not see the biological significance of the quantity measured," i.e. they do not see what is meant by a correlation coefficient. Further, the idea of the Evolution Committee having anything to do with the matter is too absurd*. That Committee is now merely a body for running Mendelism and the last thing to commemorate Weldon would be to assist that movement.
Now I want you to tell me what to do. Whether : (1) to let Lord Rayleigh put the matter -before the Zoological Committee : in which case the offer will probably be rejected. (2) To write to Lord Rayleigh and point out that the Zoological Committee-as it does not contain a single biometrician-can hardly express a useful opinion on the point. I believe it is simply a method of shifting the decision on to another body than the Council. (3) To ask him to consider the proposal as withdrawn. (4) To ask him to bring the matter directly before the Council, so that we may know that they and not the Zoological Committee are responsible for the decision arrived at.
Kindly let me know what your views may be. Of course other trustees can be found, e.g. the University of London. But I feel that for the distant future the R.S. would have been the right trustee for an international thing of this kind. Affectionately yours, KARL PEARSON.
Please return Lord Rayleigh's letter. If you could by any means let me have a reply by to-morrow, Saturday, night, it might save the matter going further, if that is your advice.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. June 30, 1906.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I think that the R.S. ought to be left severely alone. Their official representatives repudiate biometry and their Council is already overtasked in awarding medals. I can quite imagine their doing what the R. Geograph. Sec. have already done, viz. refuse any offer to found a new prize. Oxford University seems to me far more suitable in many important respects, and its list of Professors (as given in Whitaker) affords at least 10 suitable electors,... and there could be no valid objection, I should think, to specifying certain names in addition. I have not however an Oxford Calendar by me to refer to, for precedent, but will go to the Club and if there be time, will write again, thereon, to-day. The 10  Professors are
Astronomy (Law of Error) ('i) Natural Philosophy-(I don't know in the
Botany least what this is)
Comparative Anatomy Physiology
Geometry Pure Mathematics
Human Anatomy Zoology
I should suggest a short printed circular, enclosed with a few lines of written letter, to each of these, saying that so much money is already in hand, that it is proposed to found a Weldon biometric Medal, or other award,-that it is suggested that the University of Oxford would be the most suitable body to bestow it,-tbat there are at least 10 professors with whose subjects biometry has some connection, from among whom a suitable board might be selected by the University to adjudge the award.... Finally to ask for their suggestions and whether they are willing to co-operate in furthering the proposed plan.-That, after answers shall have been received, the question of approaching the University will be .considered.
Would it be convenient if I called on you to-morrow (Sunday) afternoon? I would suggest at 2 o'clock, but any other reasonable hour would suit me equally well. Will you telegraph? and I will abide by what you tell me. Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
I have an engagement here at 4.15.
I am delighted to hear of the additional £-. I return Lord Rayleigh's letter.
* The President in his letter had suggested that if the medal were accepted, the Evolution Committee might be a suitable body to award it. K. P.