"Sheldon said women at Ivy League colleges should have lots of children since they were such skilled people they could use their skills to improve their children and the general human race," says Lanier, the former close associate of Sheldon's

Informed Consent?

Students who were photographed at Harvard say University officials deceived them about the true purpose of the photos, telling students they would be used to evaluate posture for anatomical research.


"We were told they were taking a posture photo," Knight says. "We were told Professor Hooton was designing a new railroad seat," he adds.

Harvard officials knew the true plans for the photographs, Hersey says.


"The people who knew Sheldon all knew that the photographs were being used for his purposes," Hersey says.

"These scientists were not a minority, they were the mainstream of American social science," Hersey adds. "They thought that the immigration policies should be adjusted to preclude people from entering the country who were considered to be biologically inferior."

As Sheldon's former "field man," Roland D. Elderkin says he investigated the histories of the subjects photographed.

"I was Sheldon's research agent and I did a great deal of work in reading hospital and court records and looking up the medical and social backgrounds of the people we were working with."

When asked if Sheldon had gained permission to access his subjects' personal records, Elderkin declined to comment, saying "that is of no concern to anybody."

Harvard's Involvement

Sheldon came to Harvard in 1938 as a visiting lecturer, and stayed until 1942, Elderkin says.

"Hooton was interested in physical build and persuaded Sheldon that it would be a wonderful thing to come to Harvard," Elderkin says. "Hooton felt he needed a strong academic boost and that it would [also] be to the advantage of Harvard for Sheldon to come."

Elderkin says that Sheldon's opinions and theories about morphology were basically formed at Harvard.

"He developed a structure for describing human physique and temperament," Elderkin says. "They were strengthened by the influence of others [at Harvard]."