Navigation Links
Reflecting on the social implications of human genetics research -- past, present and future
Date:4/7/2008

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. In 1911, the influential geneticist Charles Davenport published Heredity in Relation to Eugenics, advancing his ideas of how genetics would improve society in the 20th century. It became a college textbook and a foundation for the widespread eugenics movement in the United States. Although the eugenic ideals of the early part of the 20th century have long been rejected, many of the issues raised by Davenport are still being debated nearly 100 years later.

In a new book, Davenports Dream: 21st Century Reflections on Heredity and Eugenics, 12 prominent academics discuss themes from Davenports bookthe meaning of human genetic variation, the sources of mental illness, the influence of nature versus nurture, the processes of human evolutionin a contemporary context. His original book, which was one of the first to summarize the field of human genetics in the post-Mendel era, is reprinted along with the essays.

[T]he problems that [Davenport and his contemporaries] sought to ameliorate and the moral and ethical choices highlighted by the eugenics movement remain a source of public interest and cautious scientific inquiry, fueled in recent years by the sequencing of the human genome and consequent revitalization of human genetics, write the editors Jan Witkowski and John Inglis in the Preface to the book. These thoughtful essays show very clearly that as science reveals ever more about essential aspects of human nature, we will be faced with real ethical, legal, and moral dilemmas.

Davenports dream of using genetics to improve the human condition has taken new guises in the 21st century. Today, it is argued, eugenics is back but in individual, not state-sponsored form, writes Matt Ridley in the Foreword to the book. People can choose the sex of their child, or choose to abort a fetus with a certain disability, or select an embryo without a detected defect or disability.

The essays by the academics remind us of what we learned from our past mistakes and urge us to carefully and cautiously use scientific discoveries for the benefit of humankind. This book will be useful to historians of science as well as those interested in the social implications of human genetics researchpast, present, and future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ingrid Benirschke
benirsch@cshl.edu
619-275-6021
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research uncovers the social dynamics of yellow jackets
2. Genes and environment interact in first graders to predict physical but not social aggression
3. Effects of social isolation traced to brain hormone
4. Social standing influences elephant movement
5. Social stress + darkness = increased anxiety
6. Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Team to study psychosocial stress
7. NHGRI funds new Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research
8. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
9. Social parasites of the smaller kind
10. Social habits of cells may hold key to fighting diseases
11. Multiple species of bacteria may cause trachoma: Implications for treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Reflecting on the social implications of human genetics research -- past, present and future
(Date:8/23/2017)... help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be the biggest study ... body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study to date of ... goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the role of these ... The Microbiome ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017  IBM ... in dairy research, today announced a new collaboration using ... the chances that the global milk supply is impacted ... project, Cornell University has become the newest academic institution ... Chain, a food safety initiative that includes IBM Research, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... ) has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for ... complexity. Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, ... eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less ... with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, ... Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS ... care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering ... health care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published ... frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center ... success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: