Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

336   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

charge can be true*. I don't like several of these Committee-men, but this appears wildly unlikely. If it were proved, I should think the Society would go to pieces, but it would also be bad for us, if the word Eugenics were to get smirched in the beginning in this way.

Affectionately, KARL PEARSON. QUEDLEY, HASLEMER E. March 27, 1908.

MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I long to see you again, and hope that your mind will soon be easy about the whooping cough. Poor child ! I have taken this house up to April 14th, so shall well overlap your stay here.

   ! what a name that man has. It is enough in itself to make ridicule out of Eugenics. I know nothing more about the accusation yet than you have told me.

The Times gives a cheering account of University College and Lord Rosebery's speech. Of course the g in Eugenics is properly hard, but we say it soft in Genesis, Genus, Generation, etc., even in Prince Eugene. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.

We tried to tempt both Heron and Miss Elderton to come here for this week end, but both happen to be engaged. Au revoir !


April 28, 1908.

MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, I am back and at work!, I hope the paper will be a success and that there will be some interesting discussion. I am holly with you as to the great need of condensation, of improvement of English and of style. I am not wholly with you as to use of scientific terms, or as to the possibility of making all scientific papers intelligible to the educated, but not specialised reader. I hope that the former can be pressed without unnecessarily attacking the extensive use of terminology....

Has the map scheme progressed at all? Let me know if I can do anything further by aid ' of photography or otherwise. Yours, always affectionately, KARL PEARSON.

Think of a good name "Thesaurus rerum ad hereditatem pertinentium," "Thesaurus facultatum humanarum," or what t 1

Galton's paper was read by Mr Pernber-he was not able himself to deliver it-on April 29, 1908, before the Royal Society of Literature I ; it is entitled " Suggestions for improving the Literary Style of Scientific Memoirs." In my opinion it is of more value from the standpoint of the biographer, than from any influence it had, or alas ! is likely to have, on " the simplicity of language, clearness of expression or the logical arrangement " of scientific memoirs. Galton's remedies were : (i) That the Councils of Scientific Societies should not be left in the dark as to the goodness or badness from the literary standpoint of the memoirs they are asked to publish, and accordingly should directly ask the referees of papers whether they consider the memoir referred to them (1) clearly expressed, (2) free from superfluous technical terms, (3) orderly in arrangement, (4) of appropriate length, (5) if it introduces any new terms (to be cited) has used necessary and appropriate words, and (6) generally has an adequate literary style. This is to suppose that the referees will be men of sound literary taste, whereas in nine cases out of ten they would be selected for their specialist knowledge, arid the barbarous would sit in judgment on the barbarian. (ii) That in order that scientific societies might be

* The conviction at the Police Court was quashed on appeal to Sessions.

t This has reference to The Treasury of Human Inheritance, the prospectus and materials of which were then being prepared.

I Transactions, Vol. xxvIII, Part II, pp. 1-8.

Previous Index Next