Geneticist Adam Rutherford speaks to Ellie Cawthorne about the dark, and often surprising, history of the eugenics movement, from ‘best baby’ fairs and population control to the Nazi ‘euthanasia’ programme. He discusses the ideas behind the ideology, and how its implementation has had devastating impacts.

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Adam Rutherford is the author of Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics (Orion, 2022)

Authors

Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.

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