4 MARCH 1995, Page 28

Sir: Alasdair Palmer's article contains inaccu- racies and a misleading

innuendo about the Pioneer Fund which I hope you will permit me to set right. Since these same inaccura- cies have appeared in the American tabloid press, I assume that Mr Palmer did his research there rather than by contacting the primary sources. Certainly he never contact- ed the Pioneer Fund, whose address and telephone number are publicly available. As a result, Mr Palmer is regurgitating trash and seems to be ignorant of the truth.

As to the needed corrections, the Pioneer Fund has never been 'dedicated to the prop- agation of "scientific" racism', and indeed the vast bulk of its research grants, such as studies of identical twins and adoptive chil- dren, have no relationship to race. Similarly, it is not true that 'most of the authors' cited in The Bell Curve received money from the Pioneer Fund, but the truth is that over 30 universities have received Pioneer grants for research, and they in turn control the research of their scientists, who receive no money themselves. As to the misleading innuendo, nothing in the nearly 60-year his- tory of the Pioneer Fund justifies its being described as 'among the ash and bones at Auschwitz', which is Mr Palmer's context for discussing the Fund.

The Pioneer Fund does not suggest research projects; it makes grants only after requests originate from universities; it does not monitor the research or even ask for reports; it does not comment on the results, even in cases where it learns of them; it does not have any publications; it does not make grants to individual scientists, but only to responsible institutions which do monitor their own scientists, and it does not take positions on political issues of any kind. The Fund stays strictly and totally hands off.

I will not comment on the portions of Mr Palmer's article which do not relate to the Pioneer Fund, except to say that it is a sad state of affairs when an article in your mag- azine is written after such superficial research, and by a writer who does not seem to be able to distinguish truth from trash.

Harry F. Weyher

President, The Pioneer Fund, 1204 Third Avenue, Suite 150, New York, USA