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- DescriptionEarly in the twentieth century, arguments about nature and nurture pitted a rigid genetic determinism against the idea that genes were flexible and open to environmental change. This book tells the story of three Viennese biologists--Paul Kammerer, Julius Tandler, and Eugen Steinach--who sought to show how the environment could shape heredity through the impact of hormones. It also explores the dynamic of failure through both scientific and social lenses. During World War I, the three men were well respected scientists; by 1934, one was dead by his own hand, ather was in exile, and the third was subject to ridicule. Paul Kammerer had spent years gathering precise zoological evidence on whether environmental change could alter heredity, using his research as the scientific foundation for a new kind of eugenics--one that challenged the racism growing in mainstream eugenics. By 1918, he drew on the pioneering research of two colleagues who were studying the causes of sexual attributes to show that hormones could alter genes. After 1920, Tandler employed a similar approach to restore the health and well-being of Vienna's war-weary citizens. Both men rejected the rigidly acting genes of the new genetics and used the biology of flexible heredity to justify eugenic reforms that respected human rights. But the interplay of science and personality with the social and political rise of fascism and antisemitism undermined their ideas, leading to their spectacular failure.
- Author BiographyCheryl A. Logan is professor emerita of psychology and history at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA.
- Author(s)Cheryl Logan
- PublisherRutgers University Press
- Date of Publication30/04/2013
- SubjectScience & Mathematics: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Place of PublicationNew Brunswick, NJ
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintRutgers University Press
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight476 g
- Width157 mm
- Height231 mm
- Spine23 mm
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