Eugenics: A Dark History and Troubling Present

Dr Adam Rutherford

Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population, historically by excluding people and groups judged to be inferior or promoting those judged to be superior. In recent years, the term has seen a revival in bioethical discussions on the usage of new technologies such genetic screening, with a heated debate on whether such technologies should be called eugenics or not.

Adam Rutherford is an Honorary Fellow at UCL, where he teaches the history of eugenics, race science, genetics, and science communication. He has written extensively on Darwin, the development of evolutionary theory, the Modern Synthesis, synthetic biology and genetic engineering, behavioural ecology, gene-culture co-evolution, human evolution, and ancient DNA. His most recent work concerns the relationship between science, eugenics and race.


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