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ID 15441

The relationship between science and the eugenics movement, James Watson

Description:
Interviewee: James Watson. ames Watson discusses the failure of eugenics to identify genetic differences between people they considered "fit" and "unfit." Here he talks about eugenicists were bound to try to apply their new knowledge of genetics to humans, but the movement lingered on even after it was clear their science was hollow. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Threat of the Unfit > Epilogue > The warning of eugenics)
Transcript:
Well I think it's a sort of warning, I think, some things probably are bound to happen and when Mendel's laws were rediscovered people were going to see whether they could explain the differences between the fit and unfit, and after about twenty years it was clear they couldn't. But the movement went on and, like many movements when its time has passed they still go on and now we're embarrassed by it, but you know, it's not to the point where you don't want to talk about it, in fact you do want to talk about it because I think it was a case where science or lack of science was confused for science.
Keywords:
immigration restriction act,henry fairfield osborn,alexander graham bell,immigration restriction act of 1924,david starr jordan,roosevelt alexander,thomas hunt morgan,coercive legislation,faulty genes,american museum of natural history,james watson,hermann muller,eugenicists,social circumstances,stanford university,seed producer,eugenics movement,museum of natural history,incomplete knowledge,theodore roosevelt
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