Biology, Medicine and Society 1840-1940

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Charles Webster
Cambridge University Press, Feb 13, 2003 - History - 356 pages
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During the period 1840-1940 biology and medicine were transformed, and took on major implications for social amelioration and population growth. New biological disciplines such as genetics and psychology consciously used scientific explanation to redefine the life of the individual. This volume originates from a Past and Present conference on 'The Roots of Sociobiology' held in 1978 and incorporates the results of recent research on problems in the social relations of the biological sciences. The authors describe different historical aspects of the interrelationship of technical experience and social policy in the fields of health, education and social welfare. Insight is provided into contemporary debates on physical and racial deterioration, the sources and distribution of intelligence, the application of evolutionary biology to social and political theory, and the analysis of human societies. The authors raise issues of topical interest, such as the emergence and influence of eugenics, the origin and impact of intelligence testing, the relationship between eugenics, genetics and evolutionary theory, and the causes of the twentieth-century reduction in infant and maternal mortality. The area of coverage is Britain, America and Germany. The introduction provides a review of recent research on the social relations of biology and medicine.
 

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Contents

Womens Health and the Womens Movement in Britain 18401940
15
WorkingClass Mothers and Infant Mortality in England 18951914
73
Theories of the Cell State in Imperial Germany
99
Innate Character in Animals and Man A Perspective on the Origins of Ethology
157
Genetics in the United States and Great Britain 18901930 A Review with Speculations
193
Eugenics and Class
217
Sociobiologies in Competition the BiometricianMendelian Debate
243
Psychologists and Class
289
Measuring Intelligence English Local Education Authorities and Mental Testing 19191939
315
Index
337
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Page 1 - In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.

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