An 1883 phrenology chart.
The Victorians believed that the shape and size of the skull could reveal details about a person’s demeanour. Now it's been put to the test.
The roots of organic farming in the United Kingdom can be traced to the fascism movement that began after the First World War.
Rick Barrett/ambitious creative co
Organic farming has roots in 20th century fascism, challenging the assumption that environmentalism and progressive politics are symbiotic.
From a certain perspective, we're already on the road to practicing a 'progressive eugenics' not a million miles away from what was imagined historically.
Toby Young at West London Free School in 2012.
Toby Young’s comments on meritocracy, and 'progressive eugenics' are shocking, but the history of its long association is far more disturbing.
Homeless people in India wait to receive a free meal in Kolkata in 2011.
When high income researchers take their unethical methods abroad it's the poor who suffer.
For over a century, IQ tests have been used to measure intelligence. But can it really be measured?
The legitimacy of the IQ test is still hotly debated.
Disability prejudice in the classroom can teach children early on that some lives are more worthy than others.
Two university professors explore their unlikely longtime friendship, providing lessons for parents of both "abled" and disabled children today.
Why research that links our social behaviour to our genes is still controversial today.
CRISPR uses segments of bacterial DNA that can make targeted cuts in a genome when paired with a specific guide protein.
Controversy over a Chinese study that used CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology shows how the West still looks at the East through the lens of Orientalism.
Volunteers clean up after Hurricane Sandy.
There are few things Americans like more than lists and money, but ranking philanthropists on the monetary size of their giving distorts our understanding of generosity, argues one ethicist.
Research that finds links between genes and intelligence could worsen social inequality.
The misunderstood genome.
The movie Gattaca's warnings about using advances in genetics for eugenics proved wide of the mark. It's time people woke up to this.
Many gene variants have been associated with schizophrenia, but we should be wary of these findings.
Methylation, an epigenetic marker, at work on a fragment of DNA.
Christoph Bock (Max Planck Institute for Informatics)/wikimedia
Many take for granted that epigenetics will lead to a more inclusive and equal society. But there are signs that quite the opposite could be true.
Who’s a clever boy?
The study of human intelligence dates back well over 100 years. And the core disagreement between researchers and theorists is whether differences are genetic or largely influenced by the environment.
Now that we know there’s a gene for intelligence, are we going to start breeding little Einsteins?
Recent research out of the UK has identified a genetic “general academic achievement factor”. Does this pave the way for genetically testing babies for intelligence?
Phrenologists believed the shape of the brain offered a clear-cut explanation for behaviour.
Hey Paul Studios/Flickr
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.
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?
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?
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…