Science in Moderation

Eugenics, a term that was created in 1883 and practiced for many years after, is essentially selective breeding of humans. Back in this time, it was seen as though there were people that were fit to reproduce, as well as people that weren’t fit. Eugenics reinforced that ideal by being widespread through public events, school, church, well known news publications and even important political figures. This created a rift between the “fit” and “unfit” populations, and eventually it caught the attention of medical professionals and institutions. In the early 1900’s doctors were diagnosing people with “feeblemindedness” if they were exhibiting explicit or degenerative behaviors and were then sending those people to mental institutions. The institutionalization of feeblemindedness nearly tripled from 1901-1924, and with this dramatic increase, these mental institutions had to find something to do with these people to make room for more. Many institutions would sterilize people with mental disorders or feeblemindedness so that they could be released without the ability to reproduce. Doctors used the idea of a pure bloodline with the mentally ill as “genetic poison” to purer bloodlines. With the part that eugenics plays in the intersection of science and society, I think that it calls for us humans to draw more fine lines for how separate or intertwined science and society are. In the modern world, it is essential that science and society work together, because we are now dependent on many of the things that science has provided for society as a whole. I think that something like eugenics should just be calling us to be careful with how we implement science into society. 

Published by chasedboyd1

Hello! My name is Chase and I’m a computer science major at Montana State University.

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