Defects of Development: Embryology & Eugenic Concepts of Race
Miriam Rich, Sydney Brenner Scholarship Recipient, Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University

“This talk examines how American eugenicists employed concepts of development to advance interlocking notions of race and defective reproduction. Touted by its early twentieth-century advocates as the “science of race improvement,” the eugenics movement infamously drew on the genetic and hereditary sciences of its time. However, its engagement with the sciences of embryology and development has rarely been examined.

Eugenics, Germinal Choice, Genetic Diversity, and Preventing Genetic Disorders
Elof Carlson, Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, Stony Brook University

“This talk begins with the earliest suggestions of the use of eugenics as a tool for maintaining the purity of the elite in Plato’s Republic; it will follow the development of the “eugenics movement” in the late 19th century; later programs to alter reproduction of the “unfit”; and the atrocities associated with eugenics in the early 20th century and the Holocaust. Modern history has seen a shift away from social eugenics to medical eugenics. With the detailed knowledge of what causes well defined chromosomal or genetic disorders in humans, there are now many examples of successes in tackling inherited disease.”

Eugenics Archives: CSHL and other National Repositories of Original Materials
A tour through the CSHL Archives and other Eugenics Repositories.
Mila Pollock, Executive Director, Library & Archives, CSHL
David Micklos, Executive Director, DNA Learning Center, CSHL

A reception was held in the Library following the talks.

CSHL Archives: Eugenics Record Office

DNA Learning Center: Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement.

Coverage of this event from our LabDish - Eugenics used to be incredibly popular: We can't let that happen again.