Saturday, 12 April 2014

Government Committees: A Lancelot Hogben Quote

Lancelot Hogben (1895-1975) clearly loathed Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders (1886-1966), eugenicist and Director of the London School of Economics from 1937 to 1957. In his unpublished autobiography (reshaped by Adrian and Anne Hogben as Lancelot Hogben Scientific Humanist, Merlin Press, 1998) he wrote: It used to puzzle me how any one so facelessly devoid of charm and with so mediocre intellectual equipment attained such eminence. It does so no longer

He then continued: 
The first rung on the ladder is a place on a minor government committee. If one remains somnolently acquiescent to the pressure group in command news spreads among civil servants that one is a sound chap due yo fill a vacancy on [an]other ministerial committee, somnolently—and so on and so on.
Some things never change.