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Research Committees and Research Workers, 14 Oct 1953

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/35

Scope and Contents

Thomson outlines his ideals for educational research, which he feels is at its best when conducted by an individual investigating fundamental educational problems. He acknowledges that modern research is in reality constrained by input from collaborators or funders. Thomson discusses how research bodies such as the National Foundation and the Scottish Council for Research in Education can help the researcher in a variety of ways, including not limiting the researcher with too many or too exacting instructions, not demanding too quick a return, and involving the researcher in the design of experiments.

He explores team work and co-operation, giving the Scottish Mental Surveys as an example, and emphasises the importance of strong, inspirational, and collaborative leadership. He also discusses the responsibilities of the researcher undertaking individual research, including the design of experiments and the utilising of research tools such as statistics; and the supposed dichotomy of fundamental and operational research.

The lecture is written on the reverse side of headed paper from the Twelfth International Congress of Psychology. Edinburgh, 23rd July-29th July.


  • 14 Oct 1953


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Address given by Thomson at annual meeting of the National Foundation for Educational Research.


1 handwritten manuscript, 15pp

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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