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May 31, 1930


JAMA. 1930;94(22):1776-1778. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710480052025

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The Dying Out of Intellectual Families  Professor Muckermann of the Kaiser Wilhelms-Institut in Berlin delivered recently an address before the Vienna Scientific Society in which he discussed research on the mode of propagation among various groups of persons. An investigation on the propagation of the most gifted types was carried out on 4,000 families of university professors. It was found that 15 per cent of the families are childless. The average number of children to a family is 2.8; but of these children about one fourth die before they are married. The children of the professors now living are insufficient in number to replace their parents. But more important, the number of children is not sufficient to assure the preservation of the gifted types. For that to be accomplished, all the children now born in the professors' families would have to equal their parents in endowments. But in the families

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