Yet this bit of history reminds us to constantly evaluate and test our theories for evidence of racism and prejudice before implementing them and harming the innocent. Howard Markel writes a monthly column for the PBS News Hour, highlighting the anniversary of a momentous event that continues to shape modern medicine.A sign that reads "Stop" placed near a barb wire is seen at the concentration camp during a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz by Soviet troops and to remember the victims of the Holocaust, in Auschwitz Birkenau . He is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine and the George E.Sitting in the audience were Britain’s Prime Minister Lord Balfour, Winston Churchill and Charles Darwin’s son Leonard, along with the ambassadors of Greece, France and (wait for it) Norway.
Goddard, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, R-Mass., auto magnate Henry Ford, inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell, botanist Luther Burbank, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Robert A.
Millikan, a Nobel laureate in physics, novelists Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis, economist William Z. Dubois, and the creator of the wellness movement, Dr. The solution of the day was to quarantine, cordon off and prevent these “undesirables” from contaminating the “superior” mostly white, native-born citizens.
Once the theory of an armchair population biologist, eugenics too quickly transmogrified into a racist and harmful evidence base for ridding nations of those the dominant society did not like or feared.
The problem, of course, was that the evidence base was false and poorly constructed.
Indeed, few of the “social eugenics policies” had a greater impact than the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924, which blocked the entry of the millions of Eastern and Southern European and Asian immigrants seeking refuge on our shores for the following 40 years.
How many millions of them died or lived tortured lives in their native lands because of this stringent and prejudiced policy is difficult to enumerate.
One of the biggest fans of the American eugenics movement was Adolf Hitler, the chancellor of Nazi Germany.
When the world discovered the role eugenics played in Hitler’s campaign to cleanse the Third Reich of its “unfit,” it drummed a final nail into the eugenics movement coffin.
a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” In a 1904 issue of the American Journal of Sociology, Galton defined eugenics more succinctly as “the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race; also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage.” Galton also coined the phrase “nature versus nurture.” Sir Francis’s social theories on who was eugenically worthy spread like wildfire among white intellectuals in almost every developed Western nation.
For example, in July of 1912, one year after Galton’s death, the threat of inferior races polluting the Western body politic was discussed at the first International Congress of Eugenics in London.