School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

Sir Godfrey Thomson Exhibition

Pioneering educational psychologist brought to life in a new exhibition.

Published on Wed, Aug 3rd 2016, 18:02

Pioneering educational psychologists
Professor Ian Deary and LBC1936 participant, Mr John Scott

A major new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Professor Sir Godfrey Thomson is now on at the University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ.

Sir Godfrey - who led the world's only nationwide IQ tests, in Scotland - was a pioneering educational psychologist who firmly believed that educational opportunity should not be linked to social status.

A treasure trove of artefacts, including piles of intriguing ledgers and personal mementos, will feature in the free exhibition, which reconstructs the life and work of Sir Godfrey. Based at the Moray House School of Education (now part of the University of Edinburgh), Sir Godfrey’s greatest legacy for today's researchers was to test the intelligence of almost every Scottish 11-year-old child in 1932, and again in 1947.

These intelligence tests have helped established the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936, two major studies of ageing led by Professor Ian Deary, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, based in Psychology.

For the first time, the Scottish Mental Surveys' 69 unique ledgers will go on public view, with a selection of sample pages on show. The ledgers hold the world’s only record of IQ-type scores from full national year-of-birth cohorts.

Professor Ian DearyDirector of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology.

Entrance to the exhibition is free, and it is open to the public. The exhibition runs from 29th July to 29th October. The exhibition is part of the Festival Fringe.

Further information

Professor Ian Deary

Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology