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:4/13/2016)... 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership ... platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, ... index, and, when they opt in, share them with ... a local retail location at no cost. By leveraging ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
Breaking Biology Technology: