Harry Laughlin, US eugenicist

Harry Laughlin, US eugenicist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Harry Hamilton Laughlin (1880-1943), US eugenicist. Laughlin was the director of the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at what is now Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA. The ERO was founded in 1910 and closed in 1939. Eugenics is the controversial practice of selectively improving the genetics of human populations. As director of the ERO, Laughlin was among the leading eugenicists in the USA and an advocate of expanding laws relating to compulsory sterilization programs. Many eugenicists were criticised for their racist assumptions, and Laughlin in particular has been described as racist and anti-Semitic. American Eugenics Society photograph.

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