The Meaning of Human Gene Testing for Disability Rights: The Rise of a New Eugenics?

Prof. Edward J. Larson, JD, PhD

University of Georgia

Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 12:15pm to 1:15pm

William G. Shepard Room, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

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Popular understanding of genetics has long influenced how Americans think about and treat people viewed as having an inherited "disability." This was true in the years immediately following the rediscovery of Mendelian genetics a century ago, leading to the so-called "age of eugenics." It remains true today, in the age of human gene therapy. In this lecture, Larson draws on the history of eugenic lawmaking and recent developments in anti-discrimination law to explore the meaning of human gene therapy for "disability rights."

1 CLE credit has been approved.

Edward Larson

Edward J. Larson, JD, PhD, is the Talmadge Professor of Law and Russell Professor of History at the University of Georgia and recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. He received his JD from Harvard Law School and his PhD in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The author of four books and over sixty published articles, Larson writes mostly about issues of law, science, and medicine from a historical perspective.