What was in the original survey and who completed it?

Galton sent his seven-page questionnaire to 190 leading ‘men of science’ (mainly elected fellows of the Royal Society) seeking information on four main areas:

  • ‘their earliest antecedents, including hereditary influences’;
  • ‘the inborn quality of their mind and body’;
  • the ‘causes that first induced them to pursue science’
  • and ‘the education they received’. 

Over one hundred scientists completed the survey, including Charles Darwin. You can read Galton’s findings in English Men of Science – the appendix contains a version of the survey questions edited for the book.