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Eugenics

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Phrenologists believed the shape of the brain offered a clear-cut explanation for behaviour. Hey Paul Studios/Flickr

Natural born killers: brain shape, behaviour and the history of phrenology

Long before neuroscience, phrenology claimed to have the power to determine who was afflicted with badness and who was suffering from madness. In the second-last article in our series Biology and Blame…
Genetics is just the latest specialist knowledge threatening to take the question of criminal responsibility away from law and hand it over to science. Graham/Flickr

Genes made me do it: genetics, responsibility and criminal law

Welcome to Biology and Blame, a series of articles examining historical and current influences on the notion of criminal responsibility. Today, Arlie Loughnan considers the challenge to the legal system…
Tiny humans would consume less and emit less, but who’s ready to genetically engineer their kids? Dylan Luder

No modest proposal: bioengineering humans for global warming

You know the situation is getting desperate when three bio-ethicists propose genetically modifying humans to reduce our environmental impact. In a bizarre paper titled Human engineering and climate change…
Are hormone therapies the answer to transgendered children? Flickr/PhotoComiX

Eugenics and the practice of transgendering children

The practice of eugenics is returning to contemporary Australia in the treatment of transgendered children. With the cooperation of the Family Court, children as young as ten are being put on puberty delaying…
Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this lab in London in the late 19th century. Flickr/Science Museum London

Eugenics in Australia: The secret of Melbourne’s elite

Eugenics — the science of improving the race —was a powerful influence on the development of Western civilisation in the first half of the twentieth century. And Melbourne’s elite were among its chief…

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