An intelligent Scotland: Professor Sir Godfrey Thomson and the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947

by Ian J. Deary

14 Apr 2016
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Full text of article by Ian J. Deary posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 1, pp. 95-131.

Abstract: This piece is a written version of the British Academy/British Psychological Society Lecture given on 17 October 2012. In the first half, the focus is historical, on the work of Professor Sir Godfrey Thomson (1881-1955). In particular, new primary sources are described and illustrated. The principal new is a collection of his public lectures from 1924 until 1954 that illustrate his interests and opinions in education and intelligence, and their place in society. In the second half, there is an illustrative summary of our follow-up studies on the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947, in which Thomson played such a large part. These data are now being used in the study of cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology.

Keywords: Godfrey Thomson, intelligence, education, ageing, mortality, morbidity.

Joint British Academy / British Psychological Society Lecture, read 17 October 2012 (video recording)

Text printed 2014 in British Academy Lectures 2012-13

Version of article available in British Academy Scholarship Online (HTML)

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