A man of genius – but his ideas were not to the benefit of all humankind.
Mondadori Portfolio/Hulton Fine Art Collection via Getty Images
Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton's concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.
Isla Johnston as Beth Harmon and Bill Camp as Mr. Shaibel in The Queen’s Gambit.
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Is it really necessary to identify gifted children?
W.E.B. Du Bois in his office at The Crisis in New York City, 1925.
W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
As editor of the magazine for 24 years, Du Bois featured articles about biology, evolution, archaeology in Africa and more to refute the rampant scientific racism of the early 20th century.
At the turn of the 20th century, marriage was assumed to be an exercise in mutual misery.
Concerned about the state of marriage – and thus the ability of whites to procreate – eugenicists were behind some of the earliest modern marriage manuals.
An operation taking place in 1941 on South Side of Chicago.
Library of Congress
The US has a long history of forced sterilization campaigns that were driven by the bogus 'science' of eugenics, racism and sexism.
CRISPR isn't a tool to fix social problems.
The archives of academic institutions can tell previously untold stories of eugenics. Universities can begin to undo oppressive legacies by opening them to artists and communities.
To confront colonialism, universities must open their archives and let communities see their pasts, eugenics and all.
Jean Truchon, right, looks on as lawyer Jean-Pierre Menard gives their reaction to a Québec judge overturning parts of provincial and federal laws on medically assisted dying on September 12, 2019.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
One judge must not be allowed to curtail parliament’s power to promote broader societal interests and protect people who are elderly, ill and disabled.
Should parents be allowed to build their babies by design?
Imagine a future society where parents can choose the characteristics of their children. Does that turn babies into consumer products., and what choice does the child get?
Morningstar Mercredi, pictured on November 16, 2018, woke up from a surgery at 14 and discovered her developing baby was gone. What remained was an incision from her panty line to her belly button, cut without her permission.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Recent revelations of the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada are part of a long, complex and disturbing history -- in which feminism became a fight to keep one's own children.
A Chinese scientist claims he edited the DNA of twin girls during an in vitro fertilization procedure.
CI Photos / Shutterstock.com
A Chinese scientist has revealed he edited the DNA of twin girls born through in vitro fertilization. These girls are designed to be resistant to HIV. Is the edit a medical necessity or an enhancement?
Eugenics was previously the realm of social biology.
If those who survive are the fittest, does that also make them the best? And if so, is engineering 'better' babies just evolution, or another step in a long history of eugenics?
Historically, many American universities helped lay the foundation for eugenics, a pseudoscience used to justify racism.
Since US universities once stood at the forefront of the eugenics movement and its racist ideas, they should right the wrongs of the past by pursuing diversity on campus, two scholars argue.
Marie Stopes in her laboratory.
It's been 100 years since a book written by Marie Stopes revolutionsed the way that people talked about sex.
Postcard of the Napa State Hospital in Napa, Calif., circa 1905. Over 1,900 Californians were recommended for sterilization while patients here.
The collection of Alex Wellerstein
About 20,000 Californians were once sterilized under state eugenics laws. New research shows Latinos were disproportionately targeted. Is there any opportunity today to address these wrongs?
What might first seem unarguable starts to look shaky when you bring twins into the equation.
A connection can be made in between Ursula Le Guin’s fiction and her father’s groundbreaking work in anthropology.
Oregon State University
Le Guin's father, Alfred Kroeber, was at a forefront of a movement that rejected social Darwinism and cultural superiority. In his daughter's fiction, we see these ideas come to life.
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.