HPS Lecture Series - Theodore M. Porter (UCLA)

November 1, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm
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"Data and Degeneration: Shifting Meanings of a Hereditary Table"

Abstract:  Early in the twentieth century, the pedigree table became the classic tool for storing and communicating data on human heredity. Some but not all of these pedigrees were given as examples of Mendelian genetics. Certainly this was not possible for the prototype of the genre, created in Norway in 1859. This talk shows how Ludvig Dahl's Norwegian data changed its meaning as it was taken up in two reference publications, the Treasury of Human Inheritance and the catalogue of the Dresden Hygiene Exhibition. The talk draws from my book Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity (2018) but presents new material to support an original argument.

Location and Address

Cathedral of Learning Rm 1008