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

S. Hansen.Biology and Eugenics.27 
It is a great defect in many of these investigations that the numbers are 
too small, and it is a serious error, when small numbers are taken as suffi­ 
ciently great to be treated by subtle mathematical methods. The ethnical 
diversities in a large country such as France are so great that the French 
people will never be truly represented by two or three hundred persons. 
Nor is it of very great interest that the average stature of the British is 
stated to be 1,720 mm., when that of the Scotch is 1,725, the Irish 1,713, 
the English 1,706, and the Welsh 1,691 mm. 
The only way to attain to full and reliable knowledge regarding all these 
things is, however, a methodical anthropometric survey established and con­ 
ducted by the governments. Private scientists have already laid the founda­ 
tion, but they cannot reach much farther without governmental aid. It is 
not easily understood why the governments hesitate. There is no lack of 
exhortation. I need only recall the first of the principal recommendations, 
which the inter-departmental Committee on physical deterioration put for­ 
ward. It runs as follows : “ With a view to the collecting of definite data 
bearing upon the physical condition of the population the Committee think 
that a permanent Anthropometric Survey should be organized as speedily 
as possible upon the lines indicated in Part I. of the Report. In the first 
instance this Survey should have for its object the periodic taking of 
measurements of children and young persons in schools and factories, en­ 
listing for this purpose the assistance among others of school teachers and 
factory surgeons, supplemented by a small staff of professional surveyors. 
Besides this a more comprehensive and specialist survey spread over a 
longer period of the population of the country at large might be under­ 
taken.” This appeal to the British Government from a most authoritative 
body has, I understand, not yet been fruitful, the reason being, I am 
inclined to suppose, that the plan proposed seems rather costly. I believe 
that it may prove more costly in the end to neglect the exhortation.
        

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