Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 363
couple of lectures, but I asked its Council the sole favour of leaving us alone, as we were quite ready to leave them. Not till certain members of its Council, not content with asserting the futility of the actuarial or statistical method of attacking eugenic problems, began to hint that we were wasting Galton's gift to the University did it appear to me necessary to make any reply to such ill-informed criticism*. But there is little doubt that the endeavour to make Eugenics a science in the academic sense-to build up a special technique for it and fix in a vaguely circumscribed field a defined area for cultivation-was much hampered by the action of successive -officers t and members of the Eugenics Education Society. It is conceivable that Galton's attempt to appoint for the Laboratory and the Society separate spheres of action as indicated in the " Foreword " just cited did on the whole more harm than good ; nobody likes to be told, however true it may be, that he is incapable-without training-of doing the higher type of work. Be this as it may, Galton in the last two years of his life was-to use a mild word-saddened by the attitude of certain members of the Eugenics Education Society. I recognised myself that the staff of the Laboratory had laboured hard and done good work. I knew that neither they nor myself were biased in one way or the other in such problems as those of the relative effect of inheritance and of environment, of the influence of parental alcoholism on the health and mentality of school-children, of the inheritance or noninheritance of the tuberculous diathesis, or of mental defect and insanity. We simply desired to reach the truth by applying appropriate scientific methods to such data as were available. The only prejudice permitted in the laboratory was the distrust of all preconceived opinions and the doubt of statements based merely on impressions. Once, however, we had ascertained the conclusions flowing from our data we were not prepared to surrender them because they clashed with the largely sentimental notions of those who had not closely studied these problems. I knew Francis Galton was with us in these points, but I think our opponents were less aware of it, nor to this day have they realised that he was so doubtful of the manner in which the Eugenics Education Society was being conducted, that in December 1910 when he asked my advice, a word from me-not spoken-would have led to his retirement from the Society$. It is necessary to make these remarks or the letters of 1909-1910 would be unintelligible.
(iii) A preface to W. Palin and Ethel M. Elderton's Primer of Statistics. This little book was written to carry out Francis Galton's conception of a series of " object lessons " in elementary statistics as shadowed forth in the
When, many years after Galton's death, we had at last saved enough from the scant publishing funds of the Laboratory to venture on a journal-Annals of Eugenics-in which to issue our researches, we were virtually accused by an official of the Society in its Eugenics Review
of having neglected this duty far too long !
f One President of the Society recently organised a petition of its members to the governing body of another department of the University requesting that they should institute a second professorship of Eugenics !
+ See my remarks on influencing the judgment of men of genius even when they are old on pp. 408 and 412 of this volume.