Reference numberRR/15/50
TitleReferee's report by Walter Frank Raphael Weldon, on a paper 'Variation' by James Cossar Ewart
Date29 April 1900
DescriptionSectional committee: not stated

He returns the paper and has found it difficult to express an opinion on the work. In the present paper the results are so briefly described that the value of the paper is far less than it could have been. He regrets the attempt to formulate conclusions which the experiments alluded to fail to prove. One of the most important suggestions made is that if two varieties of an organism are crossed the prepotency of one or the other parent depends in large part on the relative age of germ cells at the moment of fertilisation. This 'extremley valuable' suggestion ought to serve as the starting point for a whole series of experiments, however the author's results as described do not go far towards proving the truth of the statement.

Regarding the crossing experiments related to rabbit colour the results are not given in such a form that the various conclusions drawn from them can be in any way tested.

Cannot see anything in this present paper which could justify its publication at all. A detailed account of the experiments briefly referred to would be of very great value. Is increasingly convinced that the only way to reach safe conclusions concerning heredity is the way pointed out by Francis Galton. Until each question raised by Ewart's work can be settled by reference to a statistically large number of experiments, any attempt to draw general conclusions is premature. Few have had the courage to even begin such experiments. If Ewart could be induced to publish a detailed description of his experiments he would confer a great benefit upon the biological sciences and would stimulate others.

[Not published].

Endorsed on recto as received 1 May 1900.
Physical descriptionLetter on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related records in the catalogueRR/15/48
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7134Weldon; Walter Frank Raphael (1860 - 1906)1860 - 1906
NA8364Ewart; James Cossar (1851 - 1933)1851 - 1933
NA7708Galton; Sir; Francis (1822 - 1911); statistician, human geneticist and eugenicist1822 - 1911
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