Scientific Discrimination and the Activist Scientist: L. C. Dunn and the Professionalization of Genetics and Human Genetics in the United States [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Biology 42 (1):33 - 72 (2009)
Abstract
During the 1920s and 1930s geneticist L. C. Dunn of Columbia University cautioned Americans against endorsing eugenic policies and called attention to eugenicists' less than rigorous practices. Then, from the mid-1940s to early 1950s he attacked scientific racism and Nazi Rassenhygiene by co-authoring Heredity, Race and Society with Theodosius Dobzhansky and collaborating with members of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) on their international campaign against racism. Even though shaking the foundations of scientific discrimination was Dunn's primary concern during the interwar and post-World War II years, his campaigns had ancillary consequences for the discipline. He contributed to the professionalization of genetics during the 1920s and 1930s and sought respectability for human genetics in the 1940s and 1950s. My article aims to elucidate the activist scientist's role in undermining scientific discrimination by exploring aspects of Dunn's scientific work and political activism from the 1920s to 1950s. Definitions are provided for scientific discrimination and activist scientist.
Keywords activist scientist  anthropology  Columbia University  eugenics  Franz Boas  Genetics Society of America   Heredity   Race and Society  human genetics  L.C. Dunn  race  racism  scientific discrimination  Statement on Race  Theodosius Dobzhansky  UNESCO
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