Entrance to National Academy of Sciences building

National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

This article appeared, in slightly different form, in Human Life Review, Fall 2000. Copyright © 2000 & 2001 by Mary Meehan.

What's Wrong With the Science Establishment?

Mary Meehan

Scientists, it seems, should be the last people to need reminders about the importance of facts. A good scientist cannot have too many facts, because they are grist for the scientific mill as it grinds out explanations and theories about the world around us.

Why, then, do so many scientists ignore certain facts of life as they line up to support abortion and to engage in destructive fetal and embryo research? Why do they obscure or deny the fact that human life begins at fertilization? Why are so many involved in population control? Why do some have a deep prejudice against people with disabilities and people of color?

Part of the answer lies in personal experience and ideology, and part in the usual human problems of greed for glory and money. The American Establishment--with its foundations and universities, its research grants and prestigious awards--opted for population control and abortion decades ago. Scientists do know on which side their bread is buttered. They also know that there will be much honor and glory for the scientist who conquers cancer or finds a cure for Parkinson's disease, and some are willing to cut ethical corners to find such cures. Researchers also want to help suffering humanity, of course, but it is not always easy to sort out motives. Is it eighty percent for suffering humanity, and only twenty percent for glory? Or perhaps vice-versa? Headlines about ethical problems in medical research makes one suspect that too often it is vice-versa.(1)

Rebecca Messall, writing recently in these pages on "The Evolution of Genocide" (Winter, 2000), dealt with another major factor affecting scientists: the deep-rooted ideology of eugenics, the effort to breed a "better" human race. The English inventor of modern eugenics, Sir Francis Galton, had prestige among scientists for his contributions in statistics, weather-mapping and fingerprinting. Unfortunately, he was able to transfer that prestige to eugenics, which is not actually a science but rather a hard-line political ideology.

Also unfortunately, as Messall noted, his cousin Charles Darwin was sympathetic to the general viewpoint of eugenics. While Darwin doubted the possibility of implementing it in the low-tech nineteenth century, he left behind some dreadful words that have influenced generations of scientists. He favored the abolition of slavery, but endorsed the idea that Negroes are inferior to Caucasians. He also accepted his cousin's habit of classifying people generally, regardless of race, as "inferior" or "better." He quoted approvingly a nasty statement about the "careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman." He remarked that "excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed."(2) Darwin's intellectual bigotry had terrible effects in the real world. When powered by the activist engine of eugenics, it encouraged practices that might have appalled Darwin himself; for, like some other intellectuals, he was better and kinder as a person than his ideas suggested.

Scientists in the United States, supported by wealthy families who adopted eugenics as a hobby, helped build the activist engine of eugenics. They were not on a crackpot fringe of science, but in its mainstream and often in its leadership. They had great respectability, as well as access to large fortunes, and they succeeded in making eugenics a fad of the early twentieth century. Professors taught it in many colleges and universities. It was especially strong in Ivy League institutions that trained the "power elite" who largely ran the country from 1930 onward. Besides its racial and class bias, eugenics involved a deep and relentless prejudice against people with mental and physical disabilities. Its bias against the disabled was--and is--even deeper than its racial bias.

In the 1970s, eugenicists learned to avoid using the "eugenics" label and to soften their language generally. But the basic ideas of classifying people as superior and inferior--and of phasing out the "inferior" to the extent possible--remained a part of elite culture. While the label of eugenics was in hiding, the basic ideas of eugenics marched on. Many people were eugenicists without realizing it, and many still are. If they were to realize this, they would be like the Molière character who said, "Good heavens! For more than forty years I have been speaking prose without knowing it."(3)

Many scientists belonged to U.S. eugenics groups established in the early twentieth century: the American Eugenics Society, the Eugenics Research Association, the Galton Society. Indeed, many prominent scientists were leaders or advisers of eugenics groups at the same time that they were leaders of two giants of the science establishment--the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences. Their influence has been deep and lasting.

The American Eugenics Society outlasted the other eugenics groups and, in late 1972, decided to change its name to Society for the Study of Social Biology (SSSB). This group still exists; it is an affiliate of one of the key science groups; and many of its members still pursue traditional eugenics areas such as population control and genetics. Yet the Society's current president recently claimed that "the whole concept of eugenics is as foreign and distasteful to us as it is to anyone else."(4) He and other Society leaders declare that the group now has nothing to do with eugenics. To call such statements puzzling would be a vast under-statement.

A Key Pillar of the Science Establishment

The American Association for the Advancement of Science ("the Association" or AAAS) is the prestigious group that in 1975 accepted the Society for the Study of Social Biology as an affiliate. The Association, called "Triple-A-S" by insiders, is a huge umbrella group of scientific and engineering societies and individuals. Its annual meeting in 2000, held in Washington, D.C., drew several thousand people to hear lectures and symposia on everything from "The Drosophila Genome" to "The Science of Baseball." Career and money interests were obvious in workshops such as "Research Grants: Trolling for Dollars." Public-policy concerns appeared in sessions on population, stem-cell research, and other issues.

Established in the 1840s, when science in the United States was a tiny enterprise, the Association now has a staff of 300, includes nearly 300 scientific and engineering societies as affiliates, and claims about 140,000 individual members. One need not be a laboratory scientist, or an engineer, in order to join; the group also accepts "science educators, policymakers, and interested citizens." Perhaps more "interested citizens" should join and keep an eye on what this powerful group does. It is deeply involved in science education, as Rebecca Messall noted, and it also has substantial influence on Congress. Its large headquarters is conveniently based in Washington, D.C. Besides its lobbying operation, AAAS has eight fellowship programs that place scientists and engineers on congressional staffs and in governmental agencies such as the State Department.(5)

AAAS banner, with picture of a baby Einstein and a slogan: 'Science/You can't start young enough'

Banner on AAAS Building, Washington, D.C (2005)

Presidents of the Association serve only a one-year term and then chair the group's board in the following year. In the twentieth century, at least fourteen AAAS presidents had eugenics links at some point in their careers. That is, they were members, advisers, board members, and/or officers of a eugenics group; or they attended a eugenics congress; or both. They included leaders in their professional fields, such as William H. Welch in medicine, J. McKeen Cattell and Edward L. Thorndike in psychology, Laurence H. Snyder and H. Bentley Glass in genetics.(6) The list of Association presidents with eugenics links may well be incomplete, since the American Eugenics Society/Society for the Study of Social Biology has not published a membership list since 1956. The latest unpublished list I have found in an archive is from 1974-75.

Eugenicists have also served on the AAAS board of directors and various panels and committees. Many have been active in Section K--which deals with the social, economic and political sciences and has often placed heavy emphasis on population control. Bentley Glass and several other eugenicists served on the editorial board of the AAAS flagship publication, Science.(7) For many years, that publication showed an obsessive interest in population control. In a 1967 Science article, eugenicist Kingsley Davis

  • complained that population controllers were opposing abortion, which he called "one of the surest means of controlling reproduction, and one that has been proved capable of reducing birth rates rapidly"
  • said that "sterilization and unnatural forms of sexual intercourse usually meet with similar silent treatment or disapproval, although nobody doubts the effectiveness of these measures in avoiding conception"
  • suggested that "women could be required to work outside the home, or compelled by circumstances to do so," so that they would have fewer children
  • remarked that governments could use "a catalogue of horrors" to reduce birth rates ("squeeze consumers through taxation and inflation; make housing very scarce by limiting construction...encourage migration to the city by paying low wages in the country and providing few rural jobs...")
  • then slyly recommended a velvet glove for the iron hand, that is, developing "attractive substitutes for family interests, so as to avoid having to turn to hardship as a corrective"(8)

The Davis article had significant influence on population controllers. It helps explain much that has happened in both the United States and poor countries in the past thirty-three years. Abortion and sterilization have become key methods of population control. The "unnatural forms of sexual intercourse," besides avoiding conception, help spread AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, which depress birth rates by causing the sterility or early death of potential parents. And the population controllers use the epidemics of such diseases to promote massive use of condoms, which prevent many births but by no means all AIDS transmission. (They have a knack for using each of their disasters to produce a new one.) Harsh economic policies, such as the "structural adjustment" promoted by the World Bank, restrain population growth in poor countries. The positive goal of opening more careers to women has been corrupted by pressures to keep them in the work force full-time at all costs, regardless of effects on themselves and their children. "Attractive substitutes for family interests" have resulted in the prolonging of adolescence to middle age or later, the obsessive pursuit of "fun" by adults, and the institutionalization of couples' living together without marriage--and without children.

Kingsley Davis and friends had much help in their war against children. In 1969, for example, AAAS set up a Commission on Population and Reproduction Control under the chairmanship of Garrett Hardin, a eugenicist and hardline population controller. In an Association symposium that year, Hardin and others were quite frank about the way they wanted to manipulate other people's fertility. Ernst Mayr, a noted evolutionary biologist who would later serve on the SSSB board, declared: "Poverty, environmental deterioration, and anti-social behavior in urban slums are, to a very large extent, ultimately caused by excessive human reproduction." He believed that "voluntary birth control is not enough," but that governmental coercion probably would not work, either. He suggested building incentives for small families--and disincentives for large ones--into the tax and welfare systems. He also used some chilling language about human beings as "mistakes" requiring the "correction" of abortion:

Many of the matters that we are discussing, many of the incentives in tax and everything else, will not do us any good unless the abortion laws are changed. In the 1930's I lived on a street in the suburbs of New York where every family except one had two children. With all the very insufficient contraceptives, just by social pressure, they succeeded in having small families. The one family that had four children always said that they had two children and two "mistakes." So I think a correction of mistakes is a very important thing.

Alan Guttmacher, the physician who led Planned Parenthood and had been vice president of the American Eugenics Society, certainly agreed. Advocating "the wisdom of carrying out safe non-discriminatory abortion," Guttmacher said it would lead to "a rather dramatic drop in birth rate." He declared that: "We must become pragmatists. In order to meet the population problem, we have to overcome some of our squeamish ethical concepts." He particularly wanted to make legal abortion "available to the people who need it most, because today safe abortion can be afforded only by the affluent." This, of course, was eugenics shorthand for aborting the poor and minorities. While he said this, liberal and feminist groups were campaigning for legal and publicly-funded abortion for poor women. Their rationale was different, but they certainly furthered the eugenicists' goals. Perhaps most liberals and feminists did not notice the strange company they were keeping. (Certainly, Guttmacher and his colleagues did not proclaim, "We're from the American Eugenics Society, and we're here to help you.") But by campaigning for abortion, the left betrayed the poor and minorities whom in many other ways it championed.

Garrett Hardin suggested six stages for "tackling the population problem." He wanted to start with legal abortion, which he said would "lower the birth rate considerably"; then use education and persuasion to lower it further; then progress to "rather small social engineering adventures"; and finally reach "some sort of coercion." He was quite clear about his philosophy: "The act of having a child is an act of warfare against society if it is one child too many....we will finally come to the realization that, in a deep sense, children belong to the community rather than the parents."

Guttmacher liked the idea of coercion, but felt that Planned Parenthood should not lead that particular parade:

Other groups can bring coercion about much more wisely and better than we can. I applaud the things Dr. Hardin is doing in the Echo Groups and the other groups that are taking a much tougher line. We've had significant success. We have been able, in one of the groups, to persuade our government to much more activity. We are courting the goodwill of the militants from the minority groups. If we were to take a very tough line and lead the country--two children only or 2.3 children only--we would jeopardize the position we now have. Strategically and diplomatically it would be unwise for our group to do it.(9)

Bentley Glass, completing his term as AAAS president in late 1970, was worried about population quality as well as quantity. He was blunt in saying that the "once sacred rights of man must alter in many ways." The right to have as many children as one wants should, he felt, be among the first to go. If "my own additional child deprives someone else of the privilege of parenthood," Glass said, "I must voluntarily refrain, or be compelled to do so." He foresaw a world "where each pair must be limited, on the average, to two offspring" and where no parents would have "a right to burden society with a malformed or a mentally incompetent child." Glass favored prenatal testing and abortion of the handicapped unborn. He believed that laboratory (in vitro) fertilization of humans could and would be put to eugenic use. He remarked that

if every couple were permitted to have only two children, or to exceed that number only upon special evidence that the first two are physically and mentally sound, a mild eugenic practice would be introduced that is probably all mankind is prepared to accept at this time.(10)

At a 1970 Association genetics symposium, Prof. James F. Crow asked, "How far should we defend the right of a parent to produce a child that is painfully diseased, condemned to an early death, or mentally retarded?" He said the U.S. eugenics movement "was mixed, often confused, and sometimes simply wrong--but a large element of idealism persisted." While he claimed not to be an advocate of eugenics, he said he wanted to see the issue discussed. "If eugenics is a dirty word," Crow added, "we can find something else that means the same thing."(11)

Perhaps the word "choices"? If we fast-forward to 1999, we find that an AAAS publication called Your Genes, Your Choices presents a consumer's approach to prenatal testing, abortion, artificial insemination, laboratory fertilization, and so on. Reproductive technology, the book notes, "has spared thousands of couples the tragedy of giving birth to a baby with a terrible genetic disorder." Perhaps the Association thinks we should mourn a birth and celebrate a funeral--if the person is disabled?

Using a hypothetical couple named Carlos and Mollie, the book tells us that Carlos is a carrier for cystic fibrosis and wants Mollie to be tested to see if she is also a carrier, but that Mollie does not want to be tested. It outlines a dizzying series of choices the couple could make if she refuses to be tested, or consents to testing and is found to be a carrier:

  • splitting up, with each finding another mate
  • deciding to have no children, or to adopt children
  • prenatal testing (the book describes several different kinds)
  • abortion if the child is found to have cystic fibrosis
  • continuing the pregnancy (the book concedes that prenatal testing "can't always tell how severe the disease will be" and that "medical research may well lead to better treatments")
  • use of artificial insemination with "donor" sperm
  • use of laboratory fertilization with "donor" eggs

Actually, of course, the "donor" of sperm or eggs is often a seller of same. The word "donor" is used to make everyone feel better about the commercial side of high-tech reproduction. The AAAS book does admit, though, that such reproduction "may not be a very romantic way to have children." It also acknowledges that Mollie and Carlos could go through high-tech gymnastics and "still end up with a sick baby." After all, it remarks, cystic fibrosis is just "one of many possible genetic disorders. It would be far too costly and time consuming to test for all of them."(12)

Another recent Association publication supports public funding for both embryonic and fetal stem-cell research. It recognizes that "segments of American society" disagree with this, but then lectures the reader that "it is important to recall that public policy in a pluralistic democracy cannot hope to incorporate all of the viewpoints and ethical priorities of the many ethical and religious perspectives that compose the body politic."(13) The reader who is still awake by the end of that sentence may realize that it means: "We're talking power, buddy, and we have it."

Indeed, they do. Members of the scientific/medical community have already won federal funding of some research using aborted fetal tissue. Trying to extend that victory, they use promises of federal "safeguards" and dangle hopes for the cure of terrible diseases before the public and members of Congress. This strategy worked for them before; why not again? Those who wrote the AAAS publication try to reduce opposition by separating--in a technical, financial way--embryonic stem-cell research from the destruction of embryos that provides the cells for that research. They also suggest that careful records be kept, so that patients who have conscience problems about using embryonic stem cells may avoid doing so.(14) In other words, they would compel patients, as taxpayers, to support unethical research--but then magnanimously allow those patients to decline the supposed benefits of such research! Is this sensitive and kind? Or cruel and perhaps a tad sadistic?

In the area of population control, the Association no longer publishes the candid, hard-line sort of material that it did in the early 1970s. Like many other groups, it has moderated its language. But it still has a population program, now called Ecology and Human Needs. Last January the Association Web site noted that the program "collaborates closely" with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The Web site did not say--indeed, the Association may not realize--that IPPF was started by eugenicists and that it used to be housed in the headquarters of England's Eugenics Society.(15)

There has been, though, some anti-eugenics influence within the Association. Starting in 1969, political radicals ran a series of protests at its annual meetings. A group called Science for the People was especially active, criticizing AAAS for condoning the use of science and technology in the Vietnam War, but also criticizing some aspects of population control. Science for the People, which was decidedly anti-racist, eventually changed its tactics from abrasive confrontation to negotiating for literature tables and caucus space at AAAS meetings. By the time of the 1976 annual meeting, the radicals "were arrangers and participants in several sessions on the regular program."(16)

The SSSB Connection

While some radicals gradually worked their way into the Association establishment, the old American Eugenics Society--now doing business as the Society for the Study of Social Biology (SSSB)--did the same thing more quickly and with much less fuss.

Frederick Osborn, strategist of the American Eugenics Society for decades, wrote publicly that the 1972 decision to change the Society's name to SSSB reflected a broadened vision of eugenics. Privately, though, he acknowledged that the Society had never completely overcome the association of eugenics with Adolf Hitler and with the racist material produced by some of its own members in the past. He also noted that after the Society had changed the name of its journal from Eugenics Quarterly to Social Biology (a change made in 1969), the journal enjoyed an increase both in subscriptions and in articles by able scientists.(17) Osborn had much experience in moderating the old language of eugenics and in working through organizations with bland names to achieve eugenic goals. His friend and English counterpart, C. P. Blacker, had once suggested that England's Eugenics Society consider pursuing "eugenic ends by less obvious means, that is by a policy of crypto-eugenics, which was apparently proving successful with the US Eugenics Society..."(18)

Most board members stayed with the American Eugenics Society when it changed its name to SSSB by amending its certificate of incorporation. Osborn remained as treasurer, and Social Biology told its readers: "The change of name of the Society does not coincide with any change of its interests or policies."(19)

In January, 1975, the AAAS Council elected six groups, including SSSB, as new Association affiliates. In an interview early this year, current SSSB president S. Jay Olshansky said that no one within the Association has ever objected to SSSB's affiliation with the group, "nor would I expect them to do so." He added that the Association "recognizes our society as a scientific society composed of researchers and investigators." In a formal letter, Dr. Olshansky called eugenics "a discredited science" and added: "In fact, the notion of eugenics was never a legitimate science. The Society for the Study of Social Biology does not support eugenics as a science or as a social policy."

Olshansky, a University of Chicago demographer who specializes in aging issues, said he has been thinking of writing a manuscript about his Society's history and "rather colorful background." He remarked that he "would love nothing more than to expose all the skeletons. Because there's nothing more refreshing than seeing all of these skeletons in the closet...and to know how we've changed, how things have changed since then."(20)

If it deals with all the skeletons, this will have to be a very long manuscript, perhaps an encyclopedia. And, alas, there is much in the closet that, too recent to have reached the skeleton stage, is decomposing and definitely odoriferous. If Dr. Olshansky writes that manuscript, he will have to deal with the Society's overt racism in its early decades and its many 1930s contacts with German eugenicists who served the Nazi regime. He will face the embarrassment of explaining why Otmar von Verschuer--who received for his research human body parts from Auschwitz scientist Josef Mengele--was accepted as a Society foreign member after World War II. He will have to explain why so many Society members have promoted and administered population control that targets people of color. (His suggestion that developing countries are targeted simply because that is "where population growth is the most rapid" is unlikely to convince anyone who has really delved into the archival record.) He will have to deal with the many SSSB members who are intrigued by old eugenic questions about race and intelligence. (The Society's journal Social Biology, by the way, recently ran an article of worry about "dysgenic fertility" in females.)(21) He will have to explain Kingsley Davis, Alan Guttmacher and Garrett Hardin.

Dr. Olshansky can make a great contribution to human welfare by writing a complete exposé of his Society--and then persuading his colleagues to vote it out of existence. If they agree with him in repudiating eugenics, what reason is there for the group to continue?

The AAAS also needs a full-scale exposé. Dr. James Miller, an Association staff member, said in an interview that he had not observed "what I would call any strong influence of the eugenics movement within AAAS....In fact, if anything, what I have seen are those who raise questions about the potential eugenic implications of certain kinds of scientific and technological development."(22) Certainly, there are people who raise such questions within the Association. But the history of eugenics in recent decades is one of much verbal worry and hand-wringing, sometimes by eugenicists themselves, about every new eugenic practice--artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, eugenic abortion, Depo Provera and Norplant for population control, "surrogate" motherhood--followed by gradual acceptance of the practice and sometimes by public funding of it. Hand-wringing and crocodile tears are part of the eugenics game. Someone like Dr. Miller can be quite sincerely worried about abuses of science and technology and never realize that others feign such concern because they want the public to believe that scientists observe ethical boundaries. But by the time the public finds itself at the bottom of the slippery slope, it may be unable to climb back up.

Ironies abound, though. Not long after accepting SSSB as an affiliate, the Association had a big fight over an SSSB member. In 1977-78 there were protests over the AAAS Council's approval of psychologist Arthur Jensen as an AAAS fellow. (Only about fourteen percent of the group's members then held that honorific title.) It is not clear whether the protesters knew that Jensen was an SSSB member or understood what that implied. They protested because Jensen was a prominent advocate of the theory that blacks, on average, are genetically inferior to whites in intelligence. While they failed to prevent his election as a fellow, their protest resulted in a statement that the Association "wants it understood that we have never supported and do not support doctrines based on the supposed superiority or inferiority of races, or sexes, or national groups..."(23)

This kind of protest, added to the Science for the People ones, probably helped moderate Association-sponsored language in the areas of population control and genetics. But it seemed to have no effect on the abortion issue, probably because of the political left's blinders on links between eugenics and abortion. In 1982, abortion foes were trying to put through Congress a bill declaring that human life begins at conception. In response, the AAAS Council passed a resolution that confused the scientific issue with the philosophical/legal issue of personhood. It expressed "great concern that the Congress should attempt to use science to support a position which is not in the competency of science to affirm or deny."(24)

Science does not have credentials in philosophy and law, but it certainly has competence in the question of when each human life begins. Honest embryologists say that, under normal circumstances, a human being begins at fertilization. In the case of twinning, a second human being begins a short time later when fission (twinning) is completed. But it is in the interest of scientists who support abortion--or who want to use human embryos for their research--to claim that the question cannot be answered. The late Sen. John East (R-N.C.), chairing a 1981 hearing on a human life bill, listened to the obfuscations of various scientists and doctors, and then responded this way:

It strikes me that there is a tendency here simply to deny the obvious. It is like saying the Earth is not round, it is flat, because one is uncomfortable with the result that comes from acknowledging it is round.(25)

The recent AAAS publications on stem cell research and Your Genes, Your Choices suggest little change in Association policy. There has been improvement, though, in the AAAS journal Science. A scan of Science issues from July, 1999, through June, 2000, showed little coverage of population (although an article suggesting that fifty percent of African land should be set aside to protect "biodiversity" was frightening). There was some bias in favor of embryonic stem-cell research, but increasing acknowledgement of ethical problems with such research. There were good articles on other aspects of research ethics--and even a guest editorial suggesting "a sort of Hippocratic oath" for scientists.(26)

The immediate past president of AAAS, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is now serving his year as chairman of the group's board. Gould has written excellent criticism of eugenics as applied to race, class and ethnic groups. Yet he seems to have the typical blinders of the left on disability and abortion. In an essay criticizing the old, race-based term of "Mongolian idiocy" for Down's syndrome, Gould remarked that we "know very little about the causes" of this condition, but added that "at least it can be identified in utero by counting the chromosomes of fetal cells, thus providing an option for early abortion." This suggests that it is wrong to call unborn Down's children "Mongolian idiots," but right to abort them because of their disability. Let us be very careful about our language as we kill them.

Gould, though, has shown the ability to change his mind when he learns more about an issue. He once wrote that Clarence Darrow had exposed William Jennings Bryan as "a pompous fool" during the Scopes Trial on the teaching of evolution. More recently, while still disagreeing with Bryan on key points, he acknowledged that the old populist had good reason to worry about the use of "natural selection" to justify militarism and social repression.(27) If Gould does some in-depth research on eugenics with reference to population control and abortion, he might become a full-scale critic.

Certainly, Gould and other Association leaders should, as Rebecca Messall says, fund "objective historians so that honest, arms-length research and writing (not an inside white-wash) can be conducted on the history of the AAAS membership during the twentieth century's wars on 'population.'"(28) Historians and others, though, should not wait for the AAAS establishment to move. They should go right ahead with their own research and exposés. Association members, too, should demand complete accounts of the group's links with eugenics--and a fresh look at policies based on those links.

Another Pillar of the Science Establishment

The National Academy of Sciences has historic eugenics links so similar to those of AAAS that one might invoke Yogi Berra ("It's déjà vu all over again!") and leave it at that.(29)

But the National Academy needs special attention because it has major impact on public policy. Chartered by Congress and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Academy is official adviser to the federal government on science and technology. Although technically a private group, it does a huge amount of contract work for government agencies.

The alphabet soup becomes a bit complicated here, because the Academy is linked with three other groups: the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council (operating agency of the science and engineering academies), and the Institute of Medicine. The four groups together are called the "National Academies" and have about 1,100 staff members. Their annual budget is over $190 million; more than eighty percent of that comes from the federal government.(30) I will deal here mainly with the National Academy of Sciences ("the Academy" or NAS), with some reference to the Institute of Medicine.(31)

Sign lists the various national academies

The National Academies, Washington, D.C.

The Academy's twentieth-century leaders included many who were members, officers, board members and/or advisers of eugenics groups, for example: William Wallace Campbell, James McKeen Cattell, Edwin G. Conklin, Kingsley Davis, Herbert S. Jennings, Frank R. Lillie, John C. Merriam, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Raymond Pearl, Harry L. Shapiro, William H. Welch.(32) Some were also AAAS leaders, for there was much leadership overlap between the two top science groups.

Both, of course, had close contacts with "power elite" individuals and foundations. When John D. Rockefeller 3rd wanted to launch a major population-control effort, a Rockefeller associate suggested starting with that favorite establishment device, a conference. "It could be put together under the aegis of the National Academy of Sciences," he told Rockefeller. "Det Bronk [Dr. Detlev Bronk] is president, and I'm sure he'll be happy to sponsor it if we give them money to do it." Rockefeller liked the idea and, as usual, he got what he wanted. Many scientists--including a bumper crop of eugenicists--attended the 1952 conference, which led to establishment of the Population Council. Frederick Osborn, the old eugenics war-horse, was the Council's first administrator; and other eugenicists have served as staff and board members. No one should be surprised that the Council has been a major instrument for controlling population in the Third World and among people of color within the United States. It has been the key U.S. backer of intrauterine devices, Norplant and the French abortion pill, RU-486.(33)

Finding eugenicists on National Academy of Sciences committees and panels is like shooting fish in a barrel. In 1965, for example, the Academy and its operating agency published a report on U.S. population. It recommended more money for population research, more propaganda (although not calling it that) for birth control, and birth-control instruction by welfare agencies. The committee which produced the report included several SSSB associates and received financial support from the Population Council, whose vice president also served on the committee.(34) Phrases such as "dealing from a stacked deck" and "you can't fight city hall" come to mind here.

Academy population reports seldom had input from critics of population control, and the occasional critic was overwhelmed by enthusiastic advocates. A 1971 Academy report, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (a major and consistently hawkish leader of population control), proposed specific targets for birthrate reduction around the world and the legalization of both sterilization and abortion. It even suggested that "various types of compulsory or voluntary national service" could be "directed toward reducing fertility." The committee that produced the report included two or three eugenicists and received research papers from five more. A research paper by ethicist Arthur J. Dyck raised good questions about some aspects of population control, yet accepted some of its key instruments, including national fertility goals and the idea that "compulsory measures to curb birth rates might be justified as a last resort."(35) Such concessions set up a Katie-bar-the-door situation. Katie cannot bar the door because the experts are in control; they calculate the national fertility goals and decide when coercion is needed.

Anyone who thinks that these committees were off on their own, outside of Academy control, should review the work of Philip Handler, National Academy of Sciences president from 1969-1981. He edited a 1970 book that:

  • asked whether society is "justified in keeping the aged alive when those mental functions which distinguish human beings from vegetating bodies have ceased?"
  • declared that the survival of a seriously-handicapped baby "is an emotional and economic burden to its parents and a drain on the society"
  • proposed prenatal testing and sex-selection abortion as a method of birth control, so that a family with one boy could "abort the next fetus if it is not a girl" when they wanted a girl

The chapter containing these appalling statements was drafted by an Academy panel chaired by one eugenicist, Dr. Curt Stern, and including at least two others. But two other committees and Dr. Handler himself edited and revised the chapter. They knew exactly what they were doing.(36)

In 1971 Handler complained that medical advances threatened the human gene pool by keeping alive people who could pass genetic diseases on to the next generation. According to the Baltimore Sun, he suggested that

the time may come when there will have to be a national policy to eliminate all genetically unfit babies before they are born....
"The environment is now shaped by ourselves, [and] the process of natural selection which used to weed out the unfit, if you will, has been removed," he remarked.
In this new environment and with a potential genetic threat, it may be necessary for doctors to re-evaluate their Hippocratic oath in terms of the species and not in terms of individuals, he said.(37)

In 1999 the National Academies told Congress that world population may increase to a "staggering" nine billion within the next fifty years. (They neglected to say that experts foresee a significant population decline after the peak is reached.) They added that reducing the projected nine billion by ten percent "is a desirable and attainable goal," thus casually suggesting preventing the births of nearly one billion persons.(38) The world's miserable experience with population-growth reduction targets suggests that, if taken seriously, this one will result in much manipulation, pressure and outright coercion.

But that is not all. The National Academy of Sciences and its operating agency have a Committee on Population, currently headed by Prof. Jane Menken. She is a sociology professor who works on a population program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also a longtime SSSB member and has served on the SSSB board. Dr. Menken declared, however, that "I have nothing to do with eugenics; I repudiate the entire orientation of the eugenics movement; and belong to no society or organization that supports eugenics." She said that "I had no idea" that SSSB was the old eugenics group when she joined it. While she later learned about the connection, she said, she understood that the group had rejected eugenics. But SSSB president Olshansky, interviewed several days later, said that "I don't know" if the group had ever made a statement repudiating eugenics. Dr. Olshansky later issued his own formal statement rejecting eugenics (quoted above) after he was contacted by a National Academy of Sciences officer who was worried by questions about SSSB.(39)

At least six SSSB associates are involved in an intriguing project of the Academy's population committee called the Workshop on Collecting Biological Indicators and Genetic Information in Household Surveys. What is that all about? Dr. Menken said that, given the interest in the human genome and genetic disease, the National Institutes of Health and other organizations are concerned about collecting such information. There is need, she said, for discussion "about when and where such collection is appropriate."(40)

Citizens already concerned about the way in which the once-simple U.S. Census has become highly intrusive should realize that fertility and health surveys are often worse. Now the experts are talking about using household surveys to collect blood samples, hair follicles, cheek swabs and tissue from surgery in order to obtain genetic markers. One workshop paper also suggests taking urine specimens, nail clippings, skin scrapings, autopsy specimens, and "cytology specimens (e.g., pap smears)" and using "stored ova or semen that could be retrieved and analyzed."(41) The experts have already experimented with some of this in Third-World countries and in Denmark. Who knows what will happen if governments institutionalize such incredible invasions of privacy--and if citizens stand for it?(42)

The Committee on Population has great interest in what it used to call "demographic surveillance." Now it uses a euphemism, "longitudinal data collection," for the same thing. It takes time, though, for everyone to catch up with the word police. A background paper for one committee meeting described "a software package that has been used for the rapid development of seven surveillance systems in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia." It said that field stations "are established where individuals in populations can be observed in laboratory fashion..."(43) One wants to ask: Like laboratory rats?

A journal article, used as background for another Committee on Population meeting, suggested using people at a South African field site for a laboratory experiment in abortion:

On 1st February 1997, South Africa signed into law a progressive Termination of Pregnancy Act. Since services are not yet available in Agincourt [a field site for demographic and health surveillance], this creates the unusual opportunity to assess the feasibility of introducing abortion services into conservative rural areas, then evaluating the impact of such services on unwanted births and the incidence of complications from unsafe abortion practices.(44)

This is where decades of eugenics and population control have led us.

The Academy's sister group, the Institute of Medicine, was headed by Dr. David A. Hamburg from 1975-1980. Dr. Hamburg is a psychiatrist and former foundation executive. He is also a former SSSB board member, but did not respond to requests for an interview. A flock of other SSSB associates have served on the Institute's Council (its basic governing unit) or its panels.(45) The same policy pattern appears in the Institute of Medicine as in the Academy and AAAS: support of population control and prenatal testing.

At least some embarrassing truth occasionally makes its way into Institute publications on such subjects. A workshop report on other groups' work with Norplant, for example, admitted that Indonesian women who sought removal of the birth-control implant "encountered resistance." Indeed, at one point there seemed to be a backlog of 350,000 to 500,000 "implants awaiting removal" there--a problem solved by having nurse/midwives do many removals, "although it was illegal for them to do so at the time." It seems that many people who had been trained to put Norplant rods into women's arms had not been "appropriately trained in removal skills." This amounted to coercive population control. The workshop acknowledged a potential (potential?) for abuse and suggested an "informed decision-making" remedy. It also acknowledged Norplant's nasty side-effects for many women--primarily excessive or irregular menstruation, but also "headache, vaginal discharge, weight gain, acne, pelvic pain, and mood alterations." Yet Norplant ranked "very high in terms of cost-effectiveness." The workshop could find "no good scientific reasons" against making it "available to all women for whom its use is not counterindicated in labeling."(46)

Another embarrassing comment appeared in the Institute's official history when it dealt with a report from a genetics committee headed by SSSB board member Arno G. Motulsky. Dr. Motulsky's committee, dealing with prenatal testing for genetic problems, declared that people who could not afford it should still have "appropriate access to prenatal diagnosis or termination of pregnancy of an affected fetus." Yet it also said that "reproductive genetic services should not be used to pursue eugenic goals..." The Institute's historian noted that the committee's distinction "often proved elusive." He added that eliminating "the population of Down's syndrome children was, after all, an eugenic goal."(47)

Dr. E. William Colglazier, executive officer of the National Academy of Sciences, was indignant when first asked about eugenics influence on his organization. Calling the idea "totally outrageous," he asked for claims in writing. After receiving over one-hundred pages of documentation---none of which he challenged--Dr. Colglazier issued the following statement in a letter:

Eugenics, defined as the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding, is a discredited science. The National Academies, which includes the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, have no connection with and do not support eugenics as a science or as a social policy.

In the interview, Colglazier had said he was not familiar with SSSB. After receiving the documentation, he remarked in his letter: "Because a number of distinguished Academy members currently belong to this scientific society, I doubt very much that it promotes or encourages eugenics."(48)

Whoa, Dr. Colglazier, not so fast! The issues involved here are far too serious to be quickly dismissed because one trusts scientific colleagues. Many leaders and members of the National Academies--and of AAAS, for that matter--may have been unaware of the eugenics influence on their organizations. Those who have not understood that modern population control, for example, is an invention of eugenics, would not have known that nearly any population expert they chose for a committee was likely to be either a conscious eugenicist or else strongly influenced by the eugenics ideology. But it is time for them to take a serious look at their own histories. In the case of the National Academy of Sciences, which receives so much federal money and has such great influence on public policy and science education, a congressional investigation may be in order.

What Scientists Should Fear

Scientists should worry about whether eugenics has affected their own work, their integrity, and their tradition of detached inquiry.

Even scientists far removed from biology--physicists and astronomers, for example--should worry because the eugenics connection could undermine public support for science in general. Scientists have great prestige and enormous financial support for at least two reasons. First, the public believes that science is fact-based and objective, unsullied by political or ideological concerns. Second, the public believes that science offers great hope of a better life for humanity.

Scientific links with eugenics erode the tradition of objectivity. There is a long and sorry record of sloppy--and sometimes fraudulent--work by eugenicists, including ones who were leading scientists of their time. A few examples: 1) Although Dr. Joseph Goldberger had shown by 1916 that pellagra was caused by poor nutrition, eugenicist C. B. Davenport insisted--against Goldberger's strong evidence--that pellagra was an infectious disease to which some people had a hereditary susceptibility. Davenport's influence on a pellagra commission report helped suppress the truth about the devastating disease. Many disabilities and deaths among poor people in the South could have been prevented had Davenport accepted Goldberger's evidence.(49) 2) Harry Laughlin, a Davenport associate, and other eugenicists used highly biased material to convince Congress to restrict immigration severely in 1924. That meant that millions of Europeans threatened by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s could not take refuge in the United States; many died in the Nazi concentration camps instead.(50) 3) Laughlin, an ardent advocate of coercive sterilization, provided expert testimony in the crucial test case of Carrie Buck, an allegedly retarded Virginia girl whose sterilization was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1927. Laughlin relied heavily on information given to him by the superintendent of the state institution where Buck lived, apparently not even bothering to examine Buck. (Some people who knew her later denied that she was retarded.) If he had examined her, she probably would have told him that the unwed pregnancy for which she had been institutionalized had resulted from rape.(51) 4) A sympathetic biographer of Sir Cyril Burt, a British eugenicist and leading psychologist, concluded that Burt had "falsified the early history of factor analysis...produced spurious data on MZ [monozygotic or identical] twins...fabricated figures on declining levels of scholastic achievement."(52)

No one should be too surprised by such behavior, given the deeply political nature of eugenics. And its promotion of surveillance and manipulation tends to corrupt the social sciences it uses for surveys and propaganda.(53)

Science has done much to make life better and happier for us. It has shown us how to prevent or cure many diseases, to grow food more abundantly, to improve housing and transportation and communications. Yet many advances have side-effects that adversely affect our everyday lives, leading some to refrain from the worship of science that so often appears in media and stock markets. "Boom boxes" enable people to enjoy music wherever they are; but they often impose on other people a cacophony of violent sound. The convenience of "fast food" produces endless litter on our streets and highways. Cellular telephones lead to omnipresent towers that scar the magnificent American landscape. Past scientific triumphs have produced much of today's air and water pollution.

On a far more serious level, scientific "advances" have produced such horrific weapons as napalm and anti-personnel bombs, which inflict excruciating pain and terrible deaths on soldiers and civilians alike. (This is not an issue for pacificists alone, because just-war theory forbids the use of weapons that are cruel and indiscriminate.) But Louis Fieser, the Harvard professor who led the team that developed napalm, declared: "I have no right to judge the morality of napalm just because I invented it."(54) Many lay people might be shocked to find how many scientists share this attitude; but Fieser was dead-wrong. Scientists, like the rest of us have both a right and an obligation to make moral judgments about their work. And they have an obligation to do so before unleashing terrible evil, not just in retrospect.

The eugenics connection has led scientists to harm many innocent people, primarily those least able to defend themselves. If scientists keep working the outer edges of human pride and evil, finally provoking a great public backlash, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Yet they could decide to use their talents only for the good of humanity. Thomas Jefferson said that the "care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."(55) Why not use the same high standard for science?


Here are abbreviations for organizations mentioned in the text or in these notes:

AAAS  American Association for the Advancement of Science

AES    American Eugenics Society

IOM    Institute of Medicine

IPPF   International Planned Parenthood Federation

NAE    National Academy of Engineering

NAS    National Academy of Sciences

NRC    National Research Council

SSSB  Society for the Study of Social Biology (current name of group
          formerly called American Eugenics Society)

1.   "Agency Faults a UCLA Study for Suffering of Mental Patients," New York Times, 10. March 1994; "Clinton Apologizes for U.S. Radiation Tests, Praises Panel Report," Washington Post, 4 Oct. 1995; "CDC Says It Erred in Measles Study," Los Angeles Times, 17 June 1996; "In the Name of Healing" and other articles in series, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 15-18 Dec. 1996; "Medical Group Condemns U.S. AIDS Drug Tests in Africa for Using Placebo," Washington Post, 23 April 1997; "Ethics of Drilling Holes in Head Doubted," Washington Times, 27 March 1998; "Volunteers at Risk in Medical Studies," Washington Post, 1 Aug. 1998; "N.Y. Research Centers Faulted in Child Study," ibid., 12 June 1999; "Teen Dies Undergoing Experimental Gene Therapy," ibid., 29 Sept. 1999; "U.S. Halts Cancer Tests in Oklahoma," ibid., 11 July 2000.

2. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (Princeton, N.J., 1981), vol. 1, 167-180 & 201. I am indebted to Rebecca Messall, "The Evolution of Genocide," Human Life Review, 26, no. 1 (Winter 2000), 48-49, for information on Darwin's views related to eugenics. On his opposition to slavery, see John Bowlby, Charles Darwin (New York, 1990), 74-75, 134, 155 & 262n.; and Stephen Jay Gould, Eight Little Piggies (New York, 1993), 262-274.

3. [Jean Baptiste Poquelin] Molière, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, act 2, scene 4, as translated in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th ed. (1980).

4. S. Jay Olshansky, telephone interview by author, tape recording, 7 Feb. 2000.

5. American Association for the Advancement of Science (hereafter AAAS), Science in an Uncertain Millennium: 2000 AAAS Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition (Washington, 2000), 28, 30 & 17; AAAS, AAAS Directorate for Science Policy Programs (Washington, Feb., 2000), inside front cover & 1-7.

6. AAAS Handbook, 1999-2000, 135-139; Report of the Second International Congress of Eugenics (Baltimore, 1923), 3-20; List of Members of the American Eugenics Society (New Haven, Conn., Aug., 1930), in Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., microfilm reel 41; A Decade of Progress in Eugenics: Scientific Papers of the Third International Congress of Eugenics (Baltimore, 1934), 511-520; "Members - Eugenics Research Association, June 1, 1938," in Frederick Henry Osborn Papers, folder on "Assoc. for Research in Human Heredity--Membership, 1938-41," American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pa.; Barry Alan Mehler, A History of the American Eugenics Society, 1921-1940 (Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988), 306-449; "Membership List, 1956, American Eugenics Society, Inc.," in Eugenics Quarterly 3, no. 4 (December 1956), 243-252; Richard H. Osborne, Memo to G. Allen and others, 3 Feb. 1975, with attached mailing list for Summer, 1974, issue of Social Biology (journal of the Society for the Study of Social Biology, hereafter SSSB); various issues of Eugenics Quarterly and Social Biology with lists of officers and board members; Eugenics Watch, "The American Eugenics Society," posted on the Internet (www.africa2000.com).

7. Ibid.; Science, 1950-1999; and AAAS Web site (www.aaas.org). The following SSSB associates (members, board members and/or officers) have been active in Section K: Philip M. Hauser, Kingsley Davis, Matilda W. Riley, David L. Sills, Nathan Keyfitz, Kenneth Prewitt, and Michael S. Teitelbaum.

8. Kingsley Davis, "Population Policy: Will Current Programs Succeed?" Science 158 (10 Nov. 1967), 730-739.

9. Dael Wolfle, "AAAS Council Meeting, 1969," Science 167 (20 Feb. 1970), 1151; Preston N. Williams, ed., Ethical Issues in Biology and Medicine: Proceedings of a Symposium on the Identity and Dignity of Man (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), 117-118, 156, 147-148, 162-164 & 171. The symposium took place in December, 1969, at an AAAS annual meeting. On the liberals and feminists: Some people on the political left have been conscious eugenicists; see Diane Paul, "Eugenics and the Left," Journal of the History of Ideas 45, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1984), 567-590. Others have been influenced by eugenic ideas without realizing it; still others are politically naive. And many, I suspect, do not want to think about links between eugenics and abortion because they support abortion for other reasons and fear any opposition to it.

10. Bentley Glass, "Science: Endless Horizons or Golden Age?" 1970 AAAS presidential address, published in Science 171, (8 Jan. 1971), 23-29.

11. James F. Crow in Daniel Bergsma, ed., "Advances in Human Genetics and Their Impact on Society," Birth Defects: Original Article Series 8, no. 4 (July 1972), 116-118. The symposium apparently took place in December, 1970, according to Science 170 (20 Nov. 1970), 893. Crow was a board member of AES in 1972. After the group changed its name, he was still a board member in 1973-74 & 1979-1981 (see Social Biology issues).

12. Catherine Baker, Your Genes, Your Choices (n.p., 1999), from the AAAS Web site (n. 7), 7 Jan. 2000.

13. AAAS and Institute for Civil Society, Stem Cell Research and Applications (Washington, 1999), viii-xi & 30.

14. Ibid., 22-25 & 31-32.

15. "PSD Program," AAAS Web site (n. 7), 7 Jan. 2000; "EHN Program," ibid., 12 July 2000. C. P. Blacker, veteran leader of the Eugenics Society (England), and Margaret Sanger, eugenicist and birth-control pioneer in the U.S., were among key founders of IPPF. The Brush Foundation, a U.S. eugenics group, gave IPPF financial support in its early years. See Beryl Suitters, Be Brave and Angry: Chronicles of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (London, 1973) for more information on IPPF's eugenics links.

16. John Walsh, "Science for the People: Comes the Evolution," Science 191 (12 March 1976), 1033-1035.

17. Frederick Osborn, "History of the American Eugenics Society," Social Biology 21, no. 2 (Summer 1974), 125-126; and Frederick Osborn to Elissa Krauss, May 2, 1973, AES Archives, folder on "AES: Correspondence, May-June 1973," American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pa.

18. Quoted in Faith Schenk and A. S. Parkes, "The Activities of the Eugenics Society," Eugenics Review 60, no. 3 (Sept. 1968), 154. Blacker was referring to the American Eugenics Society.

19. Minutes of AES annual members meeting, 17 Nov. 1972, AES Archives, folder on "AES: Minutes of Meetings, 1972-1973," American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pa.; Social Biology, 1973 & 1974; "A New Name," ibid. 20, no. 1 (March 1973), 1. The Encyclopedia of Associations (35th ed., 1999), vol. 1, part 1, 677, still identifies SSSB as "Formerly: American Eugenics Society."

20. Catherine Borras, "AAAS Council Meeting, 1975," Science 187 (21 March 1975), 1115; Olshansky Interview (n. 4); S. Jay Olshansky, letter to author, 31 March 2000.

21. Stefan Kühl, The Nazi Connection (New York, 1994), 102-103; "Membership List, 1956, American Eugenics Society, Inc.," (n. 6), 252; Mary Meehan, "How Eugenics Birthed Population Control," Human Life Review 24, no. 4 (Fall 1998), 76-89, and "How Government Got Hooked," ibid. 25, no. 1 (Winter 1999), 68-82; Olshansky interview (n. 4); Richard Lynn, "New Evidence for Dysgenic Fertility for Intelligence in the United States," Social Biology 46, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1999), 146-153.

22. James Miller, telephone interview by author, tape recording, 28 Jan. 2000.

23. Philip M. Boffey, "Dispute over Jensen Election as Fellow Flares in Council," Science 195 (11 March 1977), 965; John Walsh, "Briefing," ibid. 199, (3 March 1978), 954-955; Richard H. Osborne (n. 6).

24. U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, Hearings on The Human Life Bill, 97th Cong., 1st Sess., April-June 1981, vol. 1, 1117-1124; Catherine Borras, "AAAS Council Meeting, 1982," Science 215, (26 Feb. 1982), 1072. The AAAS resolution was also confusing in that it cited only the first version of the "human life bill," not the revised version.

25. U.S. Senate (n. 24), 114. See, also, pp. 14-17 of this hearing; and C. Ward Kischer and Dianne N. Irving, The Human Development Hoax: Time to Tell the Truth (n.p., 1997, 2nd ed., rev.).

26. C. J. M. Musters and others, "Can Protected Areas Be Expanded in Africa?" Science 287 (10 March 2000), 1759-1760; special section on "Stem Cell Research and Ethics," ibid. 287 (25 Feb. 2000), 1417 ff.; Joseph Rotblat, "A Hippocratic Oath for Scientists," ibid. 286 (19 Nov. 1999), 1475.

27. Stephen Jay Gould, "Dr. Down's Syndrome," in his The Panda's Thumb (New York, 1980), 161. For Gould criticism of eugenics, see his The Mismeasure of Man (New York, 1981); Dinosaur in a Haystack (New York, 1995), 285-319; and Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (New York, 1983), 291-302. On Bryan and the Scopes Trial, see ibid., 272; Gould's Bully for Brontosaurus (New York, 1991), 416-430; and his Rocks of Ages (New York, 1999), 133-139 & 150-170.

28. Messall (n. 2), 68.

29. Yogi Berra, The Yogi Book (New York, 1998), 30, says this was his comment "after Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs for the umpteenth time."

30. See Rexmond C. Cochrane, The National Academy of Sciences: The First Hundred Years, 1863-1963 (Washington, 1978); and the National Academies' Web site (www.national-academies.org).

31. The National Research Council has also been deeply involved in issues related to eugenics. Its Committee for Research in Problems of Sex (1921-1962), funded largely by Rockefeller money, supported key research in reproductive endocrinology and much of Alfred C. Kinsey's sex research. See Adele E. Clarke, Disciplining Reproduction (Berkeley, Calif., 1998); compare her list of committee members (281-282) with eugenics lists in n. 6 above. See, also, James H. Jones, Alfred C. Kinsey (New York, 1997).

32. See n. 6 above and Cochrane (n. 30), 634-643.

33. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers (New York, 1976), 287; John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, The Rockefeller Conscience (New York, 1991), 31-45; Elaine Moss, The Population Council: A Chronicle of the First Twenty-Five Years, 1952-1977 (New York, 1978), 155-158; Population Council annual reports; eugenics lists in n. 6 above. See, also, Mary Meehan, "Eugenics and the Power Elite," Social Justice Review 88, nos. 11-12 (Nov.-Dec. 1997), 167-170.

34. Committee on Population, NAS/NRC, The Growth of U.S. Population (Washington, 1965); n. 6 above; Elaine Moss (n. 33), 158. "SSSB associates" means people who at some point have been SSSB members, board members and/or officers.

35. Office of the Foreign Secretary, NAS, Rapid Population Growth (Baltimore, 1971), 93-99, vii, xi-xii & 627-634; eugenics lists in n. 6 above.

36. Philip Handler, ed., Biology and the Future of Man (New York, 1970), 916, 919, 922, 934-935 & viii; and n. 6 above. See, also, the eugenics viewpoint in Philip Handler, "Can Man Shape His Future?" Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 14, no. 2 (Winter 1971), 207-227. Ironically, I have not so far found Handler's name on any eugenics membership list.

37. Frederick P. McGehan, "Policy of Aborting 'Unfit' Predicted," Baltimore Sun, 22 Oct. 1971, A-3.

38. National Academies, 1999 Report to Congress, from their Web site(n. 30), 23 June 2000.

39. N. 6 above; Jane Menken, letter to author, 4 Feb. 2000; Jane Menken, telephone interview by author, 2 Feb. 2000; Olshansky interview and letter (n. 4 & n. 20). In the Feb. 7 interview, Olshansky asked, "Why do you have to repudiate something that we all recognize is absolutely ridiculous?"

40. Six workshop participants with SSSB links are: Eileen Crimmins, Douglas Ewbank, Gerald E. McClearn, Jane Menken, James W. Vaupel & Maxine Weinstein. National Academies Web site (n. 30), 23 June 2000; n. 6 above; letterhead of Olshansky letter (n. 20); Agenda Book for 10-11 Feb. 2000, meeting of Workshop on Collecting Biological Indicators and Genetic Information in Household Surveys, NRC, Washington, D.C.; Jane Menken, second telephone interview by author, 4 Feb. 2000.

41. Draft book chapter by Robert Wallace in workshop Agenda Book (n. 40).

42. Workshop papers speak of obtaining informed consent and guaranteeing confidentiality. Some may find this reassuring; this writer does not.

43. Barney Cohen, "Leveraging Longitudinal Data," memo to Committee on Population, 11 Jan. 1999, Agenda Book for 21-22 Jan. 1999, committee meeting, Public Access Records Office, National Academies, Washington, D.C.; James F. Phillips and Bruce B. MacLeod, "The Household Registration System: Computer Software for the Rapid Dissemination of Demographic Surveillance Systems," [1 & 4], Agenda Book for 23-24 Sept. 1999 Committee on Population meeting, Public Access Records Office, National Academies, Washington, D.C.

44. Stephen Tollman and Kathleen Kahn, "Report on the Meeting 'Strengthening Ties: the Agincourt Field Site in its African Context,'" Tropical Medicine and International Health 2, no. 9 (Sept. 1997), 921, in Agenda Book for 21-22 Jan. 1999 Committee on Population meeting, Public Access Records Office, National Academies, Washington, D.C.

45. David A. Hamburg, Gardner Lindzey, Arno G. Motulsky, Gilbert S. Omenn and Robert F. Murray, Jr.--all SSSB board members at some point--served on the Institute's Council. See n. 6 and NAS/NAE/IOM/NRC Organization and Members, various years. Dr. Hamburg also served as AAAS president in 1985-86 (AAAS Handbook, 1999-2000, 139). SSSB associates who served on Institute panels included Beatrix A. Hamburg, Michael Kaback, Mary-Claire King and Christopher Tietze. Dr. Motulsky chaired--and Kaback and King served on--the genetics committee referred to below. On Kaback's SSSB membership, see U.S. Senate, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Subcommittee on Health, Hearing on Amendments to Revise Programs for Sickle Cell Anemia and Other Disorders, 1975, 94th Cong, 1st Sess., 15 July 1975, 201.

46. Polly F. Harrison and Allan Rosenfield, ed., Contraceptive Research, Introduction, and Use: Lessons from Norplant (Washington, 1998), 24, 54n., 30, 39, 41.

47. Lori B. Andrews and others, ed., Assessing Genetic Risks (Washington, 1994), iii & 8; Edward D. Berkowitz, To Improve Human Health: A History of the Institute of Medicine (Washington, 1998), 259.

48. E. William Colglazier, telephone interview by author, tape recording, 28 Jan. 2000; E. William Colglazier, letter to author, 2 Feb. 2000.

49. Allan Chase, The Legacy of Malthus (New York, 1977), 201-225.

50. Ibid., 289-301; John Higham, Strangers in the Land (New York, 1972), 300-324; Mehler (n. 6), 196-218; William H. Tucker, The Science and Politics of Racial Research (Urbana, Ill., 1994), 93-97 & 126-127.

51. Ibid., 100-101; J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson, The Sterilization of Carrie Buck (Far Hills, N.J., 1989), 55-63 & 167-172.

52. L. S. Hearnshaw, Cyril Burt, Psychologist (Ithaca, N.Y., 1979), 229-261. There are Burt defenders, but even they tend to say that he was sometimes deceptive. See Ronald Fletcher, Science, Ideology, and the Media: The Cyril Burt Scandal (New Brunswick, N.J., 1991); and N. J. Mackintosh, ed., Cyril Burt: Fraud or Framed? (Oxford, England, 1995).

53. The Kingsley Davis article mentioned above (n. 8) is an excellent example of the way eugenics corrupts sociology. There are many others, particularly in writing on population control.

54. Quoted in Time, 5 Jan. 1968, 67. See, also, Patrick P. McDermott, "The Case Against Prometheus," Worldview 16, no. 12 (Dec. 1973), 42-46. McDermott noted that a newer version of napalm was even worse than the one Fieser invented, because thickening agents had been added so that "it will adhere to the flesh and cause deeper wounds" (44).

55. Thomas Jefferson, "To the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland," 31 March 1809, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington, 1903), vol. 16, 359.