Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 379
Primer"? This would be exactly the right "format" and express the extent and aim of the work. I think it should pay its own way and a good publisher would take it, especially if you wrote a few introductory lines.
I sent the last plates of the next part of the Treasury back yesterday, and the text is all ready but for a section-bibliography and introduction-on inheritance of the insane diathesis, which I can't get out of the man who has promised it.
I shall look forward with much curiosity to the Eugenics Review. It seems to me that at present there is so very much spade work to be done, and that we are apt to go astray if we merely discuss without the necessary groundwork of facts. I suggested to the Society that it should set about definite pieces of work in the way of collecting material, but I doubt if many of its members have the true scientific instinct. Mrs Gotto said she had two academic persons who wanted to do eugenics research work and asked for suggestions, and Heron naturally said "Why not send them to the Laboratory, we can always find work for them to do, and are endowed to do it." But Mrs Gotto seemed to think that they ought to work under the guidance of the Society. She also asked for copies of our schedules concerning family characters and diseases. These I was perfectly willing to provide her with, on condition that when filled in they were returned to the Laboratory. This did not, however, seem to be satisfactory to her. I think it is not possible for us to provide schedules, which are issued for definite pieces of work in progress in the Laboratory, to be used independently by other investigators. This has actually been done in America and Scotland, persons borrowing our schedules on the excuse that they were going to return them to us, and then using them to collect facts for themselves ! It does not seem quite playing the game ! One enthusiastic American got 100 of my schedules, which he said he would return to me. He used them for his own purposes and never a one did I see again! My own view is that our work lies in different fields and is supplementary, but I fear the Eugenics Education Society will not accept this view, and does not fully grasp that we can be quite sympathetic, but must do our own work in the narrower field of statistical research.
I have a nice letter from Lady Welby, but asking a question rather beyond me- why a grouping of three is more frequent than other groupings. I fear she would think me flippant if I suggested she should make a frequency curve of the odds at the principal race-meetings during the year, to see if there is a basis for her statement ! Have you noticed the effect of political feeling between England and Germany? Formerly I could always get a civil answer if I wrote to a German librarian or scientific man asking a question. Now I rarely get any answer at all ! Affectionately, KARL PEARSON.
FOREST PARK HOTEL, BROCKENHURST, HANTS. April 8, 1909. (I stay here until April 17 and then move on.)
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, You tell me much of interest. You will, of course, gently snub Mrs Gotto, if she goes too far in her zeal. I have expressed as emphatically as I can, in the "Foreword" to the forthcoming Eugenics Education Society's Review (due a week hence), my view of the distinctive character of the work of her Society. It can only popularise, and work upon foundations laboriously laid elsewhere.
I am glad you approve on the whole of the Eldertons' primer.
I have written to Miss Elderton by this post, suggesting that the consideration of where to publish should be deferred till after this number of the Review has appeared, which will indicate its probable future status, and may advertise the books it is intended by them to issue, among which, if their proposed programme is carried out, the primer might suitably be included and get advertised where likely purchasers would see it.
I am very glad that you feel your strong physical powers returning. About the portrait in the College Hall of Trinity, Cambridge; shortly after they elected me to an Hon. Fellowship, two College Dons saw Furse's portrait of me at my house and suggested that I should offer a copy of it to the College. This was done, and I must say that it is an effective addition to their collection, both because the picture is a good one and because its background is somewhat light coloured and shows up very well against the dark oak panelling.
I congratulate you on the forwardness of the next part of the Treasury.