May 7, 2015

1904: Carnegie Institution — Experimental Evolution –> Eugenics


The Carnegie Institution established the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor, under the directorship of Charles Davenport, which became the foundation for the eugenics movement. Eugenics uses pseudo-scientific techniques and hypotheses to support racism.

“Historians of race and American medicine have documented over two centuries of race-based scientific exploitation. There is a long history of the use and abuse of racialized bodies in the name of advancing medical knowledge…

“Scientists’ expectation of uniformity within racial groups and differences across racial groups was a belief repeated across at least two centuries of American research. Yet, their assumptions were not proven in their studies, and researchers admitted that individual variation was the most significant finding…their own research led them to conclude that ‘race’ provided little, if any, meaningful health information.” (Susan Smith. Mustard Gas and American Race-Based Human Experimentation in World War II, The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 2008)

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