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MEDIA ADVISORY: Discussion of Eugenics’ and Environmental Conservation’s Shared History to be Presented at MU

April 13th, 2012

Story Contact: Timothy Wall, 573-882-3346,

WHAT: The aims of eugenicists, a group that believes in improving the human race through selective breeding, and of environmental conservationists may not seem compatible. “Culling the Herd: Eugenics and the Environmental Conservation Movement in the United States, 1900-1945,” presented by Garland Allen, a biology professor from Washington University, will explore how members of the U.S. “progressive movement” promoted both simultaneously in the early 20th century. Allen will tell the story and describe how metaphors of nature were used to support work in both areas.

Allen will explore the interaction of eugenic and conservationist ideologies in the careers of Sacramento banker and developer Charles M. Goethe and his friend and mentor, wealthy New York lawyer Madison Grant.  In particular, the talk will suggest how metaphors of nature supported active work in both arenas.

WHO: Garland Allen, professor of biology at Washington University

WHEN: 3 p.m., Friday, April 13

WHERE: Neff Hall Room 204, University of Missouri campus

NOTE: Members of the University of Missouri community and the public are invited to attend.

The event is co-sponsored by several University of Missouri programs including the Life Sciences and Society Program, the Science Studies Network, the Evolutionary Studies Group and the Department of History.