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Current and forthcoming Exhibitions at the University of Edinburgh Main Library.

Current Exhibitions

Godfrey Thomson: The man who tested Scotland's IQ

Godfrey Thomson Exhibition

Professor Sir Godfrey Hilton Thomson (1881–1955) was a giant in educational research. In 1932, and again in 1947, he led ground-breaking studies to test the intelligence of every 11-year-old in Scotland.

In his day, he was internationally recognised as an educator, an intelligence theorist, a statistician, and the largest-scale producer of IQ tests in Europe.

Thomson simultaneously held the Chair of Education at the University of Edinburgh and the post of Director of Studies at the Edinburgh Provincial Training Centre at Moray House from 1925 until 1951.

Throughout his career he worked to ensure that disadvantaged children had the opportunity for a good education. His academic and professional concerns, such as educational testing and social mobility, remain relevant today.

Despite Thomson’s achievements during his lifetime, after his death he began to fade from public and academic memory. In 2008, a chance phone call facilitated the rescue of his personal and professional papers from his family home, just prior to its demolition.

Today, the Godfrey Thomson Archive provides key insights into the life and work of this remarkable man. This exhibition tells his story.

The exhibition is free and is open Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm.

Exhibition Gallery, Main Library, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ.


Unearthed exhibition
To find out more about current and upcoming events and exhibitions at the University of Edinburgh, please visit our calendar or the Library & University Collections Blog