Standardisation in Anthropometry


    A PRELIMINARY statement, to form a basis of discussion, has been issued by the International Committee for Standardization of the Technique of Physical Anthropology and is published in Man of June. This Committee was appointed by the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations at its New York meeting on the understanding that, in the event of an international organisation for anthropology being formed, the Standardization Committee would be free to transfer itself to that body. As this condition has now been fulfilled by the institution of an International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, the question of the future of the Committee will be discussed at the forthcoming meetings of the Federation and the Congress. In the meantime, the document now published by the Committee makes certain suggestions for future action, pointing out that while anthropologists have met on several previous occasions to deplore the lack of system and uniformity in anthropometric measurement, no practical result has followed. It is now suggested that a number of regional committees should be formed, and that each of these should discuss the revision of systems of measurement on both living and skeletal material, which after testing, criticism and revision, might be put forward as regional schemes to form the basis of international discussion. As the urgent need for reform is widely recognised, a determined effort to arrive at agreement should be possible, even though revision is likely to prove a lengthy undertaking.

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    Standardisation in Anthropometry. Nature 134, 21 (1934).

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