Blood Relations: Transfusion and the Making of Human Genetics

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 23, 2020 - Science - 328 pages
Blood is messy, dangerous, and charged with meaning. By following it as it circulates through people and institutions, Jenny Bangham explores the intimate connections between the early infrastructures of blood transfusion and the development of human genetics. Focusing on mid-twentieth-century Britain, Blood Relations connects histories of eugenics to the local politics of giving blood, showing how the exchange of blood carved out networks that made human populations into objects of medical surveillance and scientific research. Bangham reveals how biology was transformed by two world wars, how scientists have worked to define racial categories, and how the practices and rhetoric of public health made genetics into a human science. Today, genetics is a powerful authority on human health and identity, and Blood Relations helps us understand how this authority was achieved.

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About the author (2020)

Jenny Bangham is a Wellcome Trust University Award Lecturer in the School of History at Queen Mary University of London. She has been an editor for Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Cancer, and the journal Development, and her work has been published in History of the Human Sciences and British Journal for the History of Science.

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