The old Eugenics and the new genetics compared

    Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperpeer-review


    One of the greatest fears associated with the new genetics is the resurgence of eugenics, but too often this assumes the new genetics is eugenics without investigating the diverse definitions and interpretations of eugenics. The aim of this paper is to critically investigate the concept of eugenics in theory and in practice and to question whether the new genetics is a renewal, reform or return of eugenics. The discussion is oriented around six key arguments that illuminate the central points of convergence and divergence between the old eugenics and the new genetics. Ultimately, the paper concludes that despite significant procedural, legislative and administrative differences between the old eugenics and the new genetics, and despite significant spatial, temporal and cultural variations in interpretation and implementation, at the ideological level, there is essentially no difference. The old eugenics was genetics and the new genetics is eugenics
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


    • New genetics
    • Old eugenics
    • Social history of medical genetics


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