Full text: papers communicated to the first International Eugenics Congress held at the University of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912

A. Niceforo. Sociology and Eugenics.191 
In the presence of the heterogeneous mass of the population formed by 
thousands of molecules the one differing from the other, we can first of all 
group together those which resemble each other from the point of view of 
comfort, and we are able in consequence to construct groups of well off and 
of poor persons : thus, in the elementary and secondary schools of Lausanne 
I have chosen groups of children in good circumstances and groups of poor 
children, using for this classification information derived from the teacher, 
or the indication furnished by the profession of the father of the child. 
One can also compare the children of a primary school situated in 
a poor quarter of the town with the children of a private school frequented 
by those belonging to a higher economic class. After having, so to speak, 
woven together in such a fashion the web of life of the population we can 
undo it in order to reconstruct it in a fresh design; that is to say, according 
to professions; the numerous recruits of the Italian army, for example, 
classified according to the profession, have permitted us to study physical 
and other characters noted on the anthropometric document of the conscript 
grouped according to the profession. 
Finally, we can yet again unmake the cloth we have woven, to construct 
with the same elements furnished by the population a new embroidery ; for 
after having assembled men according to their degree of comfort, and having 
then grouped them according to their profession, I can further group them 
according to whether they inhabit the rich or poor zones of the same 
country; or, better still, according as they inhabit the rich or poor quarters 
of the same town. Thanks to these methods, and to others which I pass 
over in silence, we are able to compose—by the aid of the innumerable 
human mosaics formed by the population—designs which bring face to 
face economic, social, professional and territorial groups totally different 
one from the other. In these groups, so composed, we can endeavour to 
study the characters which are special to each of them. This is precisely 
the method we have followed in our labours. What are the results of this 
physical, mental, and demographic exploration of groups so different the 
one from the other? 
We must say, first of all, that one can avail oneself of a very abundant 
material composed of observations made by several authors in different 
places and at different times, even though collected with an aim very diverse 
from that which occupies us. I recall at random the anthropometric data 
of Spanish, French, and Saxon conscripts classed according to their pro­ 
fession; I recall the figures concerning sensibility obtained by the researches 
of experimental psychology in comparing normal subjects (students 
or workmen), abnormal subjects (such as the insane, criminals, the 
backward); I recall also the very numerous data gathered more or less every­ 
where on the birth rate, the death rate, and other facts of demographic life 
connected with the profession, degree of comfort, the territorial zone, etc.
        

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