The great IQ scandal

Sir Cyril Burt, professor of psychology at University College, London, used studies of twins to prove that IQ was mostly inherited. It was the largest study of its kind, so even those who rejected his explanation accepted his figures.

After Burt’s death in 1971, researchers were shocked to find that some of the key research into IQ was fraudulent.

"The numbers left behind by Professor Burt are simply not worthy of our current scientific attention," said one.

Argument continues about the extent of the fraud, but some people claim he not only invented some of the data but even the names of his research assistants. Even today, the argument over how much of IQ is down to genes, and how much to nurture, remains open.