Whose School? Whose Museum? The Slater Museum renaming Debate in the Context of Local history
Puget Sound alum Grace Eberhardt ’20 (Biology, African American Studies, and Bioethics), author of “The Slater Museum and the Ethicality of a Name” (Summer Research ’19), describes her research on James Slater’s teaching of eugenics, and places the call to rename the museum in the context of both Tacoma history and local commemoration practices.
Tree Houses and Glass Houses: Eugenics, Remembrance, and the Problem of Throwing Stones
Molly Ladd-Taylor, Professor of History at York University and author of Fixing the Poor: Eugenic Sterilization and Child Welfare in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017) examines the complex motivations and diversity of the eugenics movement. Ladd-Taylor also examines the non-eugenic motivations of sterilizations in Minnesota, and the importance of attending to the eugenic thinking that still exists today.
History, Heritage and Eugenics
by Joe Cain
Joe Cain is Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology at University College, London. He has published a new edition of Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (Penguin, 2009) and a collection of essays on new trends in the history of Darwinism, Descended from Darwin (American Philosophical Society, 2009). He served as a member of the committee established by UCL to investigate the university’s legacy of eugenics, including the question of whether the Galton Laboratory should be renamed. Here he shares insights and advice based on his experience at UCL for the Puget Sound Community, and answers questions posed by Spring 2020’s STS Evolution and Society since Darwin students.
Looking Back at Eugenics: Rejection, Revision and Renaming
by Paul Lombardo
Paul Lombardo is Regents’ Professor and Bobby Lee Cook Professor of Law at the Center for Law, Health and Society at Georgia State University. He has played a crucial role in the movement to demand gubernatorial apologies for state coerced-sterilization practices. He is the editor of A century of eugenics in America: from the Indiana experiment to the human genome era. Indiana University Press, 2011 and author of Three generations, no imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell. JHU Press, 2008. Here he describes how pervasive eugenic thinking was in American society and science during the first decades during which Puget Sound taught eugenics. He also makes some recommendations for dealing with the name of the Slater Museum of Natural History.
Grappling with Legacies of Eugenics
by Alexandra Minna Stern
Alexandra Minna Stern is Professor and Chair of American Culture, Professor in History, Women’s Studies, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan, author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, and Director of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab.
Humanitarian Aid or Colonialism?: Canada’s Population Control
Erika Dyck, Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Author of Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice (University of Toronto Press, 2013) and member of the Community University Research Alliance on Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada.
Dr. Woiak is a lecturer in Disability Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Here, she discusses her experience organizing a 2009 conference on Disability and Eugenics in Washington State, and some of the history that was examined during the symposium and in her own research.
Dr. Paul is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the author of several important works on the history of eugenics, including: Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present; The Politics of Heredity: Essays on Eugenics, Biomedicine, and the Nature-Nurture Debate; and (with John Stenhouse and Hamish G. Spencer) Eugenics at the Edges of Empire: New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. The slides for Dr. Paul’s presentation can be observed HERE.
Kristin Johnson is a professor in the Science, Technology, Health and Society Program at the University of Puget Sound. This talk examines how the history of eugenics is told within Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s eugenicsarchive.org website, and how ethical critiques of eugenics made in the 1920s can both supplement the website’s version of the history of eugenics and inform present-day debates regarding what, precisely, is problematic about eugenic thinking.
Doug Sackman is a professor in the History Department at the University of Puget Sound. His talk focuses on the famous California horticulturalist Luther Burbank as an example of the tight ties between agriculture, eugenics, and ideas about improvement and selection. Sackman ties the eugenic assumptions of Burbank and others (including David Starr Jordan) to colonialist thinking and policies that changed Western landscapes. He examines how, despite criticisms of eugenic ideas by California anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, racist and ableist eugenic assumptions pervade the landscapes of the past and the present.