Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics
Thursday 6 October
Castle Hill Baptist Church
Throughout history, people have always sought to reduce suffering, eliminate disease, or enhance desirable qualities in their children. But this goes hand-in-hand with the desire to impose control over who can procreate and ultimately who is permitted to live.
Population control has been attempted in every country for thousands of years. But in the Victorian era, in the shadow of Darwin’s ideas about evolution, a new full-blooded attempt to impose control over unruly biology developed and was enshrined in a political movement that bastardised science: eugenics. It was a cornerstone of the policies of the Third Reich and led directly to the gates of Auschwitz.
Adam Rutherford, acclaimed geneticist, and presenter of Radio 4’s Inside Science tells the story of attempts by the powerful throughout history to dictate and dominate reproduction and regulate the interface of breeding and society.