How Are We Going to Control These Kids? Biology Textbooks in the 1940s

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.

Where’d Hugo Go?

Darwin and De VriesDutch 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?

Evolution of an Icon

February 21, 2012 The “Nervous Icon” has mesmerized me for nearly three years (see Parts I, II and III). I first spotted the image in the early textbooks of George W. Hunter, including A Civic Biology (1914), famous as the central exhibit in the Scopes trial. It stood out because it gave off such a…