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ID 15439

How early studies in human genetics related to the eugenics movement, James Watson

Description:
Interviewee: James Watson. James Watson discusses how eugenicists constructed and used pedigrees to highlight the supposed differences between "fit" and "unfit" families. Here he talks about the college-educated women who were trained to take pedigrees at Cold Spring Harbor thought they were helping prevent the "unfit" from taking over the world. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Threat of the unfit > The fit and unfit > Collecting pedigrees)
Transcript:
So human genetics, there was no, it wasn't like animal genetics where you could do crosses, you just observed crosses or hoped they were actually the crosses you thought they were, and tried to follow through families. This was done sort of chaotically initially and then at Cold Spring Harbor they set up the Eugenics Record Station Office just to do masses of pedigrees and thousands were obtained here, sort of college-educated women came here and were taught how to take pedigrees. And they all thought they were doing good things, they were going to, prevent the unfit from taking over the world.
Keywords:
world pedigrees,cold spring harbor,negative eugenics,trophies and medals,genetic deterioration,eugenics movement,james watson,iq tests,human genetics,mental hospitals,eugenicists,ishmaelites,dnai,fictitious names,pauperism,artistic achievement,state fairs,nams,jukes,interviewee
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Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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