In 1945–46, representatives of the U.S. government made similar discoveries in both Germany and Japan, unearthing evidence of unethical experiments on human beings that could be viewed as war crimes. The outcomes in the two defeated nations, however, were strikingly different. In Germany, the United States, influenced by the Canadian physician John Thompson, played a key role in bringing Nazi physicians to trial and publicizing their misdeeds. In Japan, the United States played an equally key role in concealing information about (...) the biological warfare experiments and in securing immunity from prosecution for the perpetrators. The greater force of appeals to national security and wartime exigency help to explain these different outcomes. (shrink)
This paper examines relations between eugenics and genetics during the Weimar Republic. Research aims and requests for funding were motivated by a sense that biology could contribute to national reconstruction after the First World War. Geneticists' participation in social policy-making is assessed, as well as the rise of interest in eugenics and racial biology among public health officials. It was important that eugenics be acceptable to the Centre Party, and a sometime Jesuit, Hermann Muckermann, took a leading role as intermediary (...) between the state and human geneticists in the founding of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Earlier plans to establish a national institute, the organization of the Institute as it actually materialized, and the scope of research are considered. Finally, the dislocation in 1933 is assessed in order to further emphasize how the Institute was deeply embedded in the Weimar social structure. (shrink)
In the overwhelmingly public world of the twentieth century, science often seems simultaneously remote and ubiquitous. There are many complex reasons for this, of course, not the least being the capacity of technology for material transformation and the apparent inability of scientific discourse to communicate its practice to the unanointed. In some ways, our current predicament appears similar to that of the late eighteenth century when so many promises had already been made of what natural philosophy might accomplish, and when (...) many clamoured for access to the power of natural philosophical practice. At that point, on the verge of the stunning dislocations of the industrial revolution, many of the literate and mechanical public took considerable steps to bridge the gap otherwise policed by social distinction. (shrink)
A recent note by lan Inkster observed that a Parliamentary Act of 1817 to suppress seditious meetings also posed a threat to scientific lecturers and societies between 1817 and 1820. Further evidence is presented here as to the intentions of the 1817 Act and its effects on science. It is particularly important to add to the observations of Inkster, first, that chartered societies were exempt, and second, that the Act expired on 14 July 1818, although further measures were introduced in (...) December 1819. To explain the provisions of these Acts, especially the distinctions made between lectures held by chartered societies as opposed to independent associations, it is relevant to consider how legislation to prevent seditious meetings and societies in the wake of the French Revolution demarcated between seditious blasphemy and legitimate scientific inquiry. The Acts provide an opportunity of locating science in contreversies over the freedom of speech and association. The questions arise of the relation of the 1817 Act to legislation of 1795, 1799, 1801, and 1819 which imposed licensing on lectures, and of the extent to which repressive legislation inhibited the activities of lecturers and societies. The intellectual repercussions were of such magnitude that the mathematician de Morgan observed in retrospect, ‘From 1815 to 1830 the question of revolution or no revolution lurked in all our English discussions’. (shrink)
The history of eugenics has become a classic arena for examining how the interplay of culture, social interests and social structures affects the advancement of science. At the same time eugenics demonstrates how in the first half of the twentieth century, the expectation arose that science could offer the solution of social problems; for biology intruded into many areas of social policy during the 1920s and 30s. Historians of science have been struck by the coincidence between the rise of genetics (...) and eugenics after 1900. Genetics underpinned techniques of family reconstruction, which were deployed for the screening of population groups. Areas of social policy such as the prediction of potential criminals and other types of social deviancy relied on eugenic rationales. This poses intriguing problems concerning the extent to which genetic research was motivated by eugenic ideals, particularly in the field of human genetics. At the same time, it is important to recognize that eugenics was a heterogenous agglomeration of sciences: in addition to genetics, a prominent place was taken by anthropology, clinical medicine, statistics, and psychology. These diverse constituents were welded together by cultural and social movements peculiar to respective national contexts. (shrink)
The legacy of German medical research in the era of National Socialism remains contentious, as regards identification of victims, and the appropriate handling of scientific specimens. These questions are acutely posed by the scientific slides, brain sections, and other body parts of victims, who were killed for research. These slides continued to be held by Austrian and German scientific institutes in the second half of the twentieth century. That scientists continued research on these slides between 1945 and the late 1980s (...) suggests a disassociation of guilt and responsibility for the deaths of the victims by the German scientific community. (shrink)
Part 1. FOUNDERS AND FIRSTCOMERS1: David Zimmerman: 'Protests Butter no Parsnips': Lord Beveridge and the Rescue of Refugee Academics from Europe, 1933-19382: William Lanouette: A Narrow Margin of Hope: Leo Szilard in the Founding Days of CARA3: Paul Weindling: From Refugee Assistance to Freedom of Learning: the Strategic Vision of A. V. Hill, 1933-19644: Gustav Born: Refugee Scientists in a New Environment5: Georgina Ferry: Max Perutz and the SPSLPART 2. TESS - THE LINCHPIN6: Paul Broda: Esther Simpson: A Correspondence7: Lewis (...) Elton: Eva and EstherPART 3. ASSOCIATES AND ALLIES8: Gerald Kreft: 'Dedicated to Represent the True Spirit of the German Nation in the World': Philipp Schwartz , Founder of the Notgemeinschaft9: Tibor Frank: Organized Rescue Operations in Europe and the United States, 1933-194510: Susan Cohen: In Defence of Academic Women Refugees: The British Federation of University Women11: Stina Lyon: Karl Mannheim and Viola Klein: Refugee Sociologists in Search of Social Democratic PracticePART 4. REVERSING THE GAZE12: Christian Fleck: Austrian Refugee Social Scientists13: Antoon de Baets: Plutarch's Thesis: The Contribution of Refugee Historians to Historical Writing, 1945-201014: Marina Yu Sorokina: Within Two Tyrannies: The Soviet Academic Refugees of the Second World War15: Antonín Kostlán and Soña Strbáñová: Czech Scholars in Exile, 1948-198916: Shula Marks: 'Bending the rules': South African Refugees in the UK, 1960-198017: Alan Phillips: Refugee Academics from Chile: WUS-SPSL CollaborationLucia Muñoz: Postscript. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview of the development of typhus vaccines between the first and second world wars. It is shown that there was a shift in the classification of the causal Rickettsiae from being classed as bacteria to being conceptualised as a type of virus. This 'paradigm switch' stimulated interest in the possibility of producing an effective medicine.