Gustaf Retzius, Swedish anatomist

Gustaf Retzius, Swedish anatomist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Magnus Gustaf Retzius (1842-1919), Swedish anatomist, physician and histologist. Retzius studied and worked at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, until his resignation in 1890. His independent wealth supported his many publications in a range of fields, including anatomy, embryology, zoology and botany. He was made a member of the Swedish Academy in 1901. Retzius also published in the field of eugenics, the controversial practice of selectively improving the genetics of human populations. Retzius wrote on theories of race and scientific racism, and glorified the 'Nordic race'. In common with many eugenicists, he has been criticised for his racist assumptions.

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