"Britain Getting Less Brainy: Experts' Warning," News Chronicle (12/1/1939)
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University College London, LP, 65/4
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&quote;Britain Getting Less Brainy: Experts' Warning,&quote; <i>News Chronicle</i> (12/1/1939)

[marginalia]News Chronicle 12-1-39[end marginalia] Britain Getting Less Brainy: Experts' Warning A warning that the average level of intelligence in Britain will be lowered if condition remain as they are was given by mental experts in London yesterday. The conference, that of the National Council for Mental Hygiene, was opened by the Duke of Kent, who, referring to the problem of declining intelligence, said it was not merely the result of sensational headlines in irresponsible newspapers. Recognising the great influence of the Press on public opinion, he said that the Council would welcome its co-operation in regard to psychological questions. Here are extracts from other speeches at the conference: [bold]Dr. Lionel S. Penrose:[end bold] (Director of the Research Department at the Royal Eastern Counties Insitution): With a higher birth-rate in the country than in the towns, the assumption is that the genetic factors which produce mental ability of a high standard will become rarer and those which tend to produce mental ability of low standard commoner. [bold]"Marry Young" Advice[end bold] If conditions continue as they are, the result of the differential fertility would be to produce a population with an average intelligence quotient scarcely below that which now exists in rural districts. If men and women capable of skilled and professional work could be persuaded to marry young and to risk having large families, the educational outlook for the future would be very much improved. [bold]Mr. Alec Rodger[end bold] (head of the Vocational Guidance Department, National Institute of Industrial Psychology): Before we embark on ambitious eugenic programmes, saturated with a defeatism which seems out of place in a genuine democracy, let us see what can be done by improving the lot of the less intelligent members of our community. [bold]Men and Beasts[end bold] The modern farmer, faced with the problem of improving his stock, pays far more attention to the living conditions he provides for his beasts than we pay to the living conditions of our kith and kin. [bold]Rev. Dr. F. E. England:[end bold] Few of the clergy are fully equipped to take their share in the healing of the mind. Nor can they equip themselves by desultory reading. It is not suggested that trained clergymen should undertake the general practice of psycho-therapy. I make a plea for co-operation with the medical psycho-therapist, especially in the treatment of those personality problems which raise ethical, philosophical, and religious issues. [centered score] [end]

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