Eugenics, to quote the definition of the man who coined the word, Francis Galton, is 'the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either 1 physically or mentally'. Eugenists believe that the knowledge so acquired can be applied to the practical task of raising the level of fitness in the human race. Man, Prometheus-like, is at last acquiring the power to control his own genetic future. To carry on the eugenical work pioneered by Galton, a Eugenics Society is in existence at the present day. Its members, predominantly academics and scientists, hope collectively to influence government policies through normal pressure-group activities. But, however seriously they take eugenics, probably few of them see themselves as having a mission to save civilization from imminent collapse, or seriously expect that eugenics will shortly replace the programmes and ideologies of the existing political parties; nor would they present eugenics as a science of man that was making redundant all previous speculations in philosophy, history, and sociology.
These, however, were precisely the aims and ambitions of those who formed the original 'Eugenics Education Society' in the winter of 1907-8.
1 Intellectual Origins.- 2 The Development of a Eugenics Movement in Britain.- 3 The Issue of 'Racial Degeneration'.- 4 Eugenics, Empire and Race.- 5 Attitudes to Class and Social Welfare.- 6 Eugenics and Party Politics, 1908-14.- 7 Positive Eugenics.- 8 Negative Eugenics.- 9 The Mental Deficiency Act, 1913.- 10 Conclusion.- Biographical Notes.
Series: History of Science
Number Of Pages: 156
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.4