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Inaugural lecture, 1925

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/2

Scope and Contents

Thomson discusses how intelligence is distributed between the various social or occupational levels of society. He explains the normal distribution of intelligence within the population, drawing parallels with the distribution of height.

Thomson refers to inquiries carried out by him in Northumberland in 1922, and inquiries carried out in the Isle of Wight in 1924, which demonstrated that individual differences outweigh social differences, and supported the notion that heredity plays more part than environment in determining intelligence. He addresses the problem of the differential birth rate, arguing that the best defence against this is mankind's differences, and these should be encouraged by equality in education, allowing secondary schools to be a mixture of abilities and talents opposed to segregation of intelligence.


  • Creation: 1925


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

This was Thomson's inaugural lecture on accepting the Bell Chair of Education at Edinburgh University.


1 typescript, 20pp

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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