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:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing ...  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... just published their findings on what they believe could be a new and ... of the new research. Click here to read it now. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: