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 reporting.
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 ideology."

(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 time."

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

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable federal or state laws. If the reader of this transmission is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify me immediately by email ([log in to unmask]) or by telephone (310-536-0211).