The Eugenics Review

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I’m surprised to find that NIH maintains an archive of The Eugenics Review, which ran from 1909 to 1968.

I’m not surprised that Francis Galton wrote the foreward to the first issue:

There are two sorts of workers in every department of knowledge — those who establish a firm foundation, and those who build upon the foundation so established.

The foundation of Eugenics is, in some measure, laid by applying a mathematico-statistical treatment to large collections of facts, and this, like engineering deep down in boggy soil, affords little outward evidence of its bulk and importance.

The superstructure requires for its success the co-operation of many minds of a somewhat different order, filled with imagination and enthusiasm; it does not require technical knowledge as to the nature of the foundation work.

So a navigator, in order to find his position at sea, is dependent on the Tables calculated for him, and printed in the Nautical Almanack or elsewhere. But he may safely use these Tables without having the slightest acquaintance with the methods by which they were constructed.

It will be the aim of the Managers of the Review to invite the co-operation of independent observers, and to demonstrate the bearing of Eugenics on legislation and practical conduct. The field is very wide and varied. To those who carefully explore it the direct conflict of Eugenics with some of the social customs of the day will be unexpectedly revealed, whilst its complete harmony with other social customs will be as unexpectedly made clear.

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