The audiences of eugenics
Historiographical and research political reflections
in Communicating the history of medicine
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This chapter discusses the reception of recent historical work on eugenics and compulsory sterilization in Denmark. The contrast between the media’s view of this work as a criticism of eugenics and the author’s view of it as an attempt to study eugenics on its own historical terms is discussed as an example of a complicated case of ‘audiencing’. The chapter further attempts to historicize the notion of grand societal challenges in science. The fear of degeneration of the genetic quality of the population was one such grand challenge in the early twentieth century, when the effects of scientists’ perceived social responsibility in actively promoting eugenics had very undesirable results.

Communicating the history of medicine

Perspectives on audiences and impact

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