For what it is worth, the Hernshaw book was written by a member of his  
ingroup - aka academic British psychology - and is a very balanced read. Anyone  
who would say it tried to discredit Burt is really off the mark, as Hernshaw  
makes several discoveries that he acknowledges and notes his misgivings in  
Ed Dunbar
Los Angeles

The Mackintosh collection cited below was published in 1995 and marked  the 
high-tide in attempts to rehabilitate Burt. Two years later, the Rutgers  
psychologist William H. Tucker published "Re-reconsidering Burt: Beyond a  
reasonable doubt" (Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences,  Volume 33, 
Issue 2, pp. 145-162), which concluded:

"The extreme statistical improbability of Burt's sample, the complete  
variance of his claims from the well documented cases in the Shields study [a  
survey of other research on identical twins], the preposterousness of Burt's  
explanation for his perfectly designed sample, and the fact that it provides  an 
absolutely airtight response to every criticism raised by his opponents-all  
these factors in combination remove any reasonable doubt that his MZA  
[monozygotic twins reared apart] research was fraudulent, a study offered as  scientific 
exploration but intended as political tactic to support his  educational 

(I note also that the website cited below links to defenses of Burt from  
such credible sources as Arthur Jensen and J. Phillipe Rushton.)

I have the Tucker paper as a pdf file if anyone would like a copy.


Funnily enough I was in the middle of  reading about that in relation to a 
controversy on another  list.

Consider this:

Sir Cyril  Burt

Sir Cyril Burt was one of the eminent  psychologists of the 20th century, a 
pioneer in psychometrics and factor  theory. After his death in 1971, a series 
of allegations of scientific  fraud emerged, starting with an article in the 
London Sunday Times in 1976  and culminating in Leslie Hearnshaw's damning 
biography in 1979, whose  conclusions were endorsed by the British Psychological 
society the  following year.

More recently, however, a number of  defences have emerged, with Robert 
Joynson and Ronald Fletcher  independently coming to the conclusion that the 
charges are, at the very  least, not proven. They conclude that the attacks were 
chiefly motivated  by ideological hostility.

The most recent treatment, a collection of  articles edited by N.J. 
Mackintosh, has tended to muddy the waters a  little, while leaving the "not proven" 
verdict  intact.

_ ( 




Phil Gasper wrote:

"Fluorides and Fluoridation-- the most  flagrant scientific fraud of all 

My vote goes to Cyril Burt's faked IQ  studies. :-) --PG

Edward Dunbar

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