[ Francis Darwin; Printed ] Questionnaire from the Birmingham Philosophical Society, printed., with Darwin's responses in holograph to two only of the four questions and with signature Francis Darwin with date.

Francis Darwin [ H.W.Crosskey, geologist ]
Publication details: 
July 19th, 1886.
SKU: 23112

Questionnaire, partly filled in by Darwin, from, Translation of Scientific Memoirs' Committee, 2pp, 4to, minor sunning, good condition. NOT including the Printed Letter, p.[1], from H.W. Crosskey, explaining what the questionnaire is for (Action for the Translation and Publication of Foreign Scientific Memoirs to be put to the attention of the British Association). The questionnaire comprises four questions, with a final section headed Remarks, the questions being, 1.Do you think it advisable that steps should be taken to secure the systematic translation and publication in English of all the more important foreign scientific memoirs; 2. If so [advisable] would the work be best accomplished: (a) by the formation of a Special Society or Committee for dealing with memoirs on all subjects; or (b) by the formation of separate Societies or Committees each dealing with one particular branch of science; or (c) by urging the existing scientific Societies to undertake the translation of the memoirs with which they are most nearly concerned? | 3. Would it be necessary, in your opinion, to translate memoirs in the French language? | 4. Should the work of translation be done voluntarily, or be paid for by a small fee; the name of the translator in either case being attached to his work? Section 5 is headed Remarks (verso).DarwinHe answers Question 1. I do not think it advisable. I[It] seems to me that no amount of translation (that is at all practicable) would do away with the necessity of being able to read french & german[sic].No answers to questions 2 and 3 (left blank).. Question 4 answer (rather conflicting with the earlier answer): I think it should be paid for by a fairly good fee. The translations must (as pointed out in the pamphlet[?]) be made by those having special knowledge of the subject and I cannot help doubting whether such persons would undertake the drudgery of translation unless they were well paid.No Remarks. Note: A copy of the report based on this and other completed questionnaires, apparently the only one recorded, is at the National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, USA) . Despite valiant efforts (including being one hour's drive away) I have been unable to see it, or secure a copy: Report presented by the council to the annual meeting of members, held in the library of the Medical Institute,October 8, 1885. [Birmingham Philosophical Society (Birmingham, England)]. See other completed questionnaires (Galton, Huxley, Francis Darwin, etc).