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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity

by Theodore M. Porter,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 2, 2018

The pseudoscience of eugenics (the study of improving the human population through selective breeding) has a long and sordid history. In the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, eugenics provided the rationale for immigration restrictions designed to protect the "unadulterated Anglo-Saxon stock" and for laws in more than a dozen states mandating the sterilization of people deemed to have hereditary defects.


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