June 9, 2011
Lombardo speaking at Southern Illinois University School of Law ATLANTA - Professor Paul A. Lombardo traveled to several universities this spring to speak on topics surrounding the history of eugenics. In late January, he was in Savannah, Georgia at Mercer University School of Medicine; in April he was the John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist in Residence at Southern Illinois University Schools of Law & Medicine in Carbondale and Springfield, Illinois; later that month he also traveled to Harvard University to participate in the Ackerman Symposium on Medicine & Culture. He ended the academic year in May as the Distinguished Lecturer in Bioethics at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento.
"I am pleased that the history of eugenics continues to resonate with both scholars and the general public," said Lombardo. "It is a history that engages disciplines as varied as bioethics, the law of disability, medicine, public health, and the history of the Holocaust."
Lombardo speculated that another part of its attraction is expressed through widely held curiosity about the relevance of history to contemporary trends in genetic research.
Those who study artificial reproductive technologies, or practices such as genetic enhancement or prenatal genetic diagnosis, often discuss the potential "eugenic" implications they raise. "Actually taking a close look at the history of eugenics can give us some insight about whether, or to what degree, such concerns are warranted," he observed.