Givers, Doers, & Thinkers—A Podcast on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Episode 30: Christine Rosen & the practice of eugenics in America

May 11, 2022 Season 3 Episode 10
Givers, Doers, & Thinkers—A Podcast on Philanthropy and Civil Society
Episode 30: Christine Rosen & the practice of eugenics in America
Show Notes

This week on Givers, Doers, & Thinkers, Jeremy talks to historian and journalist Christine Rosen about how American religious leaders, in partnership with philanthropy, helped grow the American eugenics movement in the first part of the 20th century.

Christine Rosen is a senior writer at Commentary Magazine, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and senior editor at the New Atlantis. Christine holds a Ph.D. in history from Emory University. Her writing has appeared in our most prestigious periodicals, from the New York Times Magazine to the Washington Post, the MIT Technology Review to the New England Journal of Medicine, often covering the science/bioethics/technology beat. Her books include Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement, My Fundamentalist Education, and the forthcoming book, The Extinction of Experience.

Jeremy and Christine kick off this conversation with a bang, diving right into the eugenics movements in America. Christine shares the key figures involved, like Charles Davenport, Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and Margaret Sanger, along with religious leaders, and the influence of eugenics on charity versus philanthropy, the rhetorical uses and misuses to which science is often put, and the dark side of American progressivism. Christine highlights some of the evil bargains made in the name of "charity" by eugenicists, like financial support in exchange for sterilization. This fascinating yet deeply troubling history is well worth your time and was very likely never part of your American history lessons. 

What is a feasibility study, and why do you need it? American Philanthropic's Dan Folta shares the key deliverables that offer insurance against failure in any sort of capital campaign. If you are about to embark on a campaign or already have started, you'll want to listen to this practicalities segment.

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