Eugenics, Human Genetics and Human Failings Ebook
The Eugenics Society, its sources and its critics in Britain
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This outstanding history examines the eugenics movement from its origin to its heyday as the source of a science of human genetics. “Eugenics, Human Genetics and Human Failings” makes a major contribution to the study of the British eugenics movement and its applications to current scientific work.
Previous treatments have been flawed in not viewing eugenics as a science whose methods required serious consideration. By avoiding this narrow approach, Pauline Mazumdar provides a scholarly and provocative analysis, utilizing important archival material newly available to researchers. The conclusions she draws from this material give the reader important insight into the inner workings of the British Eugenics Society that published sources alone could not provide. Mazumdar identifies nineteenth-century social reform as a contributing factor in the development of the later eugenics movement, and examines the history of statistical methods involved in human genetics.
This studyalso provides a historical introduction to the current problems connected with the huge international projects for the mapping of the human genome. New methods developed in the 1980s have been successful in pinpointing the genes for diseases such as Huntington’s chorea. With this scientific success has come a renewal of interest in, and fears of, eugenics in both Europe and America.
Comprehensive and compelling, Mazumdar’s analysis will be of interest to historians of medicine and science, sociologists, social historians, psychologists, and human geneticists.
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