Eugenic opportunity structures: Teaching genetic engineering at US Land-Grant Universities since 1911

Leland L. Glenna, Margaret A. Gollnick, Stephen S. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The eugenics movement during the first half of the 20th century has been described as a transnational social movement because of the way it flourished on different continents between World Wars I and II. Political opportunity structure is a term used to explain the social rules and resources that enable such a movement to emerge seemingly simultaneously in diverse settings. One opportunity structure in the eugenics movement that requires further exploration is the university. Since US agricultural scientists were so prominent in the transnational eugenics movement, it is especially relevant to document the initiation and persistence of eugenics courses in the US Land-Grant University (LGU) system. By examining course-offerings at LGUs through the 20th century, we demonstrate that eugenics courses were available at prominent US research institutions not only prior to World War I, but also after the end of World War II, when eugenics was considered bad and inappropriate science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalSocial studies of science
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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