USA Today's Dan Vergano takes a look at the historical eugenics movement in which "dozens of [US] states, from Virginia to California" embraced the decision to mandate more than 60,000 forced sterilizations by the 1960s. Vergano speaks with the current editor of Annals of Human Genetics, who says that the journal once went by a different name. Indeed, Vergano reports, mathematician Karl Pearson founded the journal in 1925 under the title Annals of Eugenics. University College London's Andrés Ruiz Linares, editor of the present-day Annals of Human Genetics, has recently opened the journal's archives to researchers, "and is running reports by historians on the journal's past embrace of scientific racism and targeting of the disabled," Vergano reports. Linares tells USA Today that the journal's past "shouldn't be forgotten. … Since the social implications of a lot of current human genetics research are enormous, it seems important that in judging what human genetics is doing now we maintain awareness of the history of this discipline."
Annals of … What?
Apr 26, 2011