(Document from 2004 so many links now "dead")


Name: Christopher Richard BRAND. Date of birth: 1 June 1943. Nationality: British. Education: Queen Elizabeth's Boys' Grammar School, Barnet, Hertfordshire; The Queen's College, Oxford. Degree : M.A. (Oxon.) (Psychology & Philosophy). Employment: Home Office, Prison Department (H.M.P. Grendon), 1965-68; Nuffield College, Oxford, 1968-70; U.S.Navy (Naval Personnel Research & Development Center, San Diego), 1982; Edinburgh University (Psychology Department), 1970-1997; Silver service waiter, 1998-9; articles for Sweden's Financial Times 1998-9; private tutor 1999; consultant researcher to Woodhill Foundation (U.S.A.) 2000-2004; translation and proofreading services. Director of Institute for the Study of Educational Differences (California), 1992- . Marital status: Married. Location: Edinburgh.


My academic work has been concerned with identifying and elucidating the main dimensions of human variation in tests of personality and abilities. I have taken the view that the more interesting questions about personality differences and their biosocial and psychodynamic significance can only begin to be answered seriously once there is a consensus as to what are the main 'dimensions of personality' that can be found in objective measures. Since 1984, I have maintained (like the major factor-analytic researcher, Raymond Cattell (1904-1998)) that there are six main dimensions of personality -- rather than the 'Big Five' that enjoyed more popularity with psychometrician-psychologists of the 1990's; and that several dimensions require interpretations that are at once Darwinian and Freudian. However, the existence and importance of even a dimension of 'general intelligence' is increasingly disputed (or at least neglected) in and around psychology and the social sciences. Thus my work has especially concerned the g factor (the psychometric backbone of IQ), its possible basis in 'speed of apprehension', and its relation to personality and attitudes.

Publication of my practical conclusions (chiefly that parents and schools should do more to tailor education to children's intelligence levels) and of my willingness to acknowledge deep-seated racial differences (only modifiable by neo-eugenic methods) provoked a storm of controversy in Britain, the withdrawal of my book, The g Factor, by the US publisher, and eventually my dismissal by Edinburgh University. Cut off from the opportunity for serious empirical research, I have concentrated on more philosophical matters -- especially trying to elaborate the classically liberal and realistic position to which the main claims of the London School of psychology seem to point. I maintain that an urgent and practical research priority is to study what happens when parents and children are allowed more educational choice. I believe in strengthening the role of the family in people’s lives – after two centuries that belonged to nationalism and individualism, I believe the West needs to move towards greater communitarianism, perhaps channelling health, education and welfare funds through extended families.

I was fired to placate 'anti-racist' and 'feminist' protestors in Edinburgh University. The pretext for firing me was as follows. In the course of battling with the E.U. Principal who had publicly condemned my views in 1996 -- and of asserting my academic right to free speech about race, IQ, sex, eugenics or whatever -- I counselled against the mounting paedohysteria in the USA and UK (much of it inspired by 'feminists' who wish to give men a bad name). In particular, I urged clemency for a 73-year-old Nobel prizewinner facing a 30-year jail term in the USA and said that paedophilia was often harmless -- as found in substantial academic researches both prior to 1996 and subsequently [Psychological Bulletin, June 1998]. However, the British media drew no distinction between paedophilia and paedosadism [a distinction subsequently acknowledged by top British forensic psychologist Professor David Canter, Times Higher 5 Feb. '99]; and my remarks about paedophilia were taken to the Scottish press by critics of my 'racist', 'sexist' and 'eugenicist' views. The resulting front-page tabloid stories, based on minimal attention to anything I had said or written, led to my immediate suspension and eventual sacking. A letter from a Dundee academic to the Glasgow Herald (2 Nov. '99) referred to 'the evil of political correctness' infecting Edinburgh University.

Selected Publications

I have broadcast on several occasions for BBC Radio 4 UK and BBC World Service (most recently in August 2001), have often written and reviewed for Nature and Times Higher Educational Supplement, and am a Fellow of the Galton Institute [London]. I was a Consultant Editor for European Journal of Personality 1986-2000. From August 1997 to April 2000, I published the weekly McDougall NewsLetter on the Internet. Subsequently, I published a Diary and ‘blog’ [edited from Australia by psychologist John Ray] updated daily: http://www.crispian.demon.co.uk/index3.htm, http://www.crispian.demon.co.uk/indexLATEST.htm, and http://gfactor.blogspot.com/.

There is considerable coverage of my case against Wiley and Edinburgh University in print:

The 1998 verdict from Mr T. Gordon Coutts QC, hired by E.U. to preside on my Appeal against Edinburgh University, was that British universities can fire their staff just whenever they want. There has apparently been no effective 'academic freedom' or 'security of tenure' for dons since the UK's Education Act of 1988. British academics owe to their employer exactly the same duty not to say or write anything 'disgraceful' as do employees of United Biscuits (a firm where a similar issue had once arisen, as the University of Edinburgh's lawyer especially argued at my Appeal).

The case was to go before a Scottish Employment Tribunal in 1999; but Edinburgh University offered a settlement of the maximum that any UK court could have offered for 'unfair dismissal', saying it was paying out "to prevent the airing of Brand's opinions and views at public expense" (Times Higher 5 xi '99, p. 2) – a surprising attitude for a university. I accepted this settlement since to have proceeded to a trial would probably have been deemed 'frivolous' by the Tribunal and put me at risk of paying what would have been the University's enormous costs.

Since 1997, I have put some work (with US writer Kevin Lamb) into a proposed biography of William McDougall FRS (1871-1938), Professor of Psychology and Harvard from 1920 to 1926. Like myself, McDougall fell foul of environmentalism, egalitarianism and utopianism in psychology. McDougall fought doughtily but to no avail against the rising tide of behaviourism in psychology and he plainly merits a biography; but at present no mainstream publisher is brave enough to publish work by Arthur Jensen, let alone by me. Currently I am editing the memoirs of one of my former prisoner-patients at H.M.Prison Grendon – provisional title ‘Knickers Galore –Memoirs of a ‘Psychopath’’. I also function as a private tutor, translator and proofreader.

My work for the Woodhill Foundation has been specially focussed on questions of security for e-mail and e-commerce (e.g. http://www.sheergeniussoftware.com/brand/). I have played a part in inventing what is hoped to be a breakthrough in giving people secure yet memorable e-signatures and am told the the key process in this, of 'Branding', may possibly make my name a household word – raising the question of how Edinburgh University could have brought itself to fire me.

I maintain a full CV and account of my positions on a variety of psychological, philosophical and political topics at my website <http://www.crispian.demon.co.uk>. I have reasonable French, German and familiarity with philosophy, politics, modern history and Word.

Prepared by Chris Brand.
Last Modified: 13 xi 2004 .