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Race UnmaskedBiology and Race in the Twentieth Century$
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Michael Yudell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168748

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168748.001.0001

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Eugenics in the Public’s Eye

Eugenics in the Public’s Eye

(p.45) 3 Eugenics in the Public’s Eye
Race Unmasked

Michael Yudell

J. Craig Venter

Columbia University Press

This chapter details the events of the Second International Congress of Eugenics held at the American Museum of Natural History. To Henry Fairfield Osborn, museum director and paleontologist, eugenics is a social movement that has a serious impact upon human populations through the improvement of genetic stock. The exhibit mainly comprised racial models, photographs, pedigree charts, collective biographies, analytical tables illustrating racial changes, and scientific reprints on eugenical and genetical subjects. It displayed how the language of science and heredity were incorporated into the American zeitgeist to represent the intellectual justification behind the harmful ideology of American racism. Generally, the 1920s witnessed a comprehensive response to racial science by biologists, anthropologists, geneticists, and social scientists in terms of developing research in support or in challenging the assumptions of racial science.

Keywords:   Second International Congress of Eugenics, Henry Field Osborn, eugenics, racial changes, American racism, racial science

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