A visionary naturalist in the early 1940s on the order of Rachel Carson, by the 1960s, college biology professor Gairdner B. Moment devolved into a reactionary critic of the emerging culture of environmentalism he had helped spawn, and is remembered today as the scientist who wanted grizzly bears eliminated.
As of January 1, 2019, copyrighted works from 1923 are now in the public domain, including 3 important biology textbooks.
By 1940, biology’s core eugenics-based narrative had been dramatically weakened. Yet the demand for a curriculum that could control adolescent sexuality, had, if anything, only increased since the 1920s. Worries about what their sons and daughters were getting up to in the backseats of their new cars or in the sketchy motor courts popping up at the edge of town provided a fertile landscape for experimentation, even in a down market.
Downloadable PDF of Ella Thea Smith’s 1932 mimeographed and hand bound textbook.
Piltdown man’s dramatic entry into textbooks starting in the mid-1930s was a reactionary effort by Henry Fairfield Osborn to infiltrate the debate on human origins and freeze in place his favored ideas of human evolution and the necessity of eugenic management. The success of his strategy is an American tragedy.
The relative priority of the topic of eugenics in the American biology curriculum graphed based on direct examination of 83 high school biology textbooks and 43 college-level biology textbooks published in the United States between 1904 and 1973. (Also see associated database).
Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries gained global fame in the first decades of the twentieth century for being the guy who finally figured out how evolution worked. Today he is all but forgotten. Should he stay that way? Or are their good reasons to remember “dead end” scientific theories and the people who loved them?
Most of us think of conservation and ecology as more or less the same thing, with conservation the first step toward the restoration of an ecologically balanced state of nature. But through the first half of the twentieth century, the two words signified quite different things.
Samuel J. Holmes was a respected professor of zoology at Berkeley from 1912 until his death in 1964. He was also, and remained throughout his life, an unapologetic eugenicist.
I Speak to You Through Electrical Language: Traveling Into the Nineteenth Century with the “Nervous Icon”
Tracing the history of an image of the human central nervous system, reproduced in more than 100 texts, above reveals surprising connections between the seemingly disparate topics of printing technology, print piracy, electricity, telegraphy, spirituality, abolition, and that most central of nineteenth century anxieties, masturbation. In its hyper-nakedness, the image warned of the dangerous interconnectedness of the body, where stimulation, or over-stimulation, of any one part would cause damage to the entire system.