Jon Beckwith Community Library on Social Issues in Biology

(updated January 8, 2022)

1) Philosophy of Science

Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, edited by Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave (Cambridge University Press, 1970)

Persuading Science: The Art of Scientific Rhetoric, edited by Marcello Pera and William R. Shea (Science History Publications, 1991)

The Philosophy of Science, edited by Richard Boyd, Philip Gasper, and J. D. Trout (M.I.T. Press, 1995)

The Philosophy and History of Molecular Biology: New Perspectives, edited by Sahotra Sarkar. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, volume 183 (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas S. Kuhn (4th edition with an introductory essay by Ian Hacking) 50th Anniversary edition (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

2) Eugenics

Sex Race and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South, by Edward J. Larson (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)

Backdoor to Eugenics, by Troy Duster (Routledge, 1990) and Backdoor to Eugenics, by Troy Duster, 2nd edition with foreword by Pierre Bourdieu (Routledge, 2003)

War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black (expanded edition) (Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003)

Three Generations of Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell, by Paul A. Lombardo (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)

3) Women and Science

Biological Politics: Feminist and Anti-feminist Perspectives, by Janet Sayers (Tavistock Publications, 1982)

“Gender and Math Performance: Does Biology Have Implications for Educational Policy?” article by Jon Beckwith (Journal of Education, Volume 165, no. 2, Spring 1983)

Test-Tube Women: What Future for Motherhood? edited by Rita Arditti, Renate Duelli Klein and Shelley Minden (Pandora Press, 1984)

Learning About Women: Gender Politics, and Power (Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fall 1987)

Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America, by Rayna Rapp (Routledge, 1999)

Rosalind Franklin, The Dark Lady of DNA, by Brenda Maddox (Harper Collins, 2002)

The Third Man of the Double Helix: The Autobiography of Maurice Wilkins, by Maurice Wilkins (Oxford University Press, 2003)

4) “Race” and Genetics

What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes, by Jonathan Marks (University of California Press, 2002)

The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, by Joseph L. Graves, Jr, (Penguin Plume, 2004)

Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, edited by Barbara A. Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee & Sarah S. Richardson (Rutgers University Press, 2008)

Racism Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, by Joseph L. Graves Jr. and Alan H. Goodman (Columbia University Press, 2022)

5) Sociobiology

The Sociobiology Debate, edited by Arthur L. Caplan (Harper & Row, 1978)

On Human Nature, by Edward O. Wilson (Harvard University Press, 1979)

Sociobiology Examined, edited by Ashley Montagu (Oxford University Press, 1980)

Sociobiology: The Debate Evolves. A Special Double Issue (The Philosophical Forum: A Quarterly, vol XIII, nos 2-3, 1981-82)

Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Nature, by Philip Kitcher (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985)

6) Decline and Fall of I.Q. and Twin Studies

How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement? article by Arthur Jensen (Harvard Educational Review, volume 39, no. 1, Winter 1969)

The I.Q. Controversy, edited by N.J. Block and Gerald Dworkin (Pantheon 1976)

Cyril Burt Psychologist, by L. S. Hearnshaw (Vintage, 1979)

Cahier de Psychologie Cognitive/Current Psychology of Cognition (collection of articles) edited by Bruno Poucet, CRNC-CNRS (CPC volume 18, no. 2, April 1999)

“Socioeconomic Status Modified Heritability of I.Q. in Young Children,” article by Eric Turkheimer, Andreana Haley, Mary Waldron, and Brian D’Onofrio (Psychological Science, 2003)

Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation, edited by Erik Parens, Audrey R. Chapman, and Nancy Press (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006)

What Is Intelligence? by James R. Flynn (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

The Trouble with Twin Studies: A Reassessment of Twin Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, by Jay Joseph (Routledge, 2015)

7) Social Responsibility of Scientists

The Social Responsibility of the Scientist, edited by Martin Brown (The Free Press, 1971)

The Social Responsibility of Scientists, edited by Philip Siekevitz (Volume 196, article 4) (Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 1972)

Science and Engineering Ethics, Volume 3, Number 2, 1997 and Volume 6, Number 3, 2000 (Opragen Publications)

Making Genes, Making Waves; A Social Activist in Science, by Jon Beckwith (Harvard University Press, 2002)

8) Recombinant DNA

Research with Recombinant DNA (Academy Forum and National Academy of Sciences, 1977)

Recombinant DNA: The Untold Story, by John Lear (Crown, 1978)

Genetic Alchemy: The Social History of the Recombinant DNA Controversy, by Sheldon Krimsky (M.I.T. Press, 1982)

Human Genetic Engineering – Hearings Before the Subcommittee on the Investigations and Oversight of the Committee on Science and Technology (U. S. House of Representative, 97th Congress, 2nd Session, November 16-18, 1982)

Proceed with Caution: Predicting Genetic Risks in the Recombinant DNA Era, by Neil A. Holtzman, MD. PhD (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989)

The Human Genome Initiative and the Impact of Genetic Screening Technologies, American Journal of Law & Medicine, volume XVII, nos 1 & 2, 1991)

The Clone Age: In the New World of Reproductive Technology, by Lori Andrews (Henry Holt and Company, 1999)

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, 2021)

From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, by Allen Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels, and Daniel Wikler (Cambridge University Press, 2000) *The authors consider, among other issues, the quest for the perfect baby and eugenic public policy.

9) The Two Cultures and Other Conflicts

The Two Cultures, by C. P. Snow (Cambridge University Press, 1959) *The title of Snow’s lecture was “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution and the two cultures he identifies as “the literary intellectuals” as he called them. *

Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science, by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994)

The One Culture? A Conversation About Science, edited by Jay A. Labinger and Harry Collins (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

10) Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society

The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society, edited by Joseph S. Alper, Catherine Ard, Adrienne Asch, Jon Beckwith, Peter Conrad, Lisa N. Geller (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). The most comprehensive book, which focuses on the perspectives of diverse groups (gender, “race,” class, etc.)

11) Techniques in Two Scientific Fields

Handbook of Molecular-Genetic Techniques for Brain and Behavior Research, by W. E. Crusio and R. T. Gerlai, volume 13 Techniques in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences (Elsevier, 1999)

Experimental Design for Biologists, 2nd edition, by David J. Glass (Cold Spring Laboratory Press, 2014)

12) Harvard Recent Connections: Genetic Determinism - the 20th Century

“The Further Education of a Harvard Faculty Member,” article by Jonathan R. Beckwith, Harvard College of ’57 20th Anniversary Report (1977)

Not In Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature, by R. C. Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon J. Kamin (Pantheon Books,1985)

The Dialectical Biologist, by Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin (Harvard University Press, 1985)

Exploding the Gene Myth: How Genetic Information is Produced and Manipulated by Scientists, Physicians, Employers, Insurance Companies, Educators, and Law Enforcers, by Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald (Beacon Press, 1993)

The Mismeasure of Man, by Stephen Jay Gould (W. W. Norton, 1996)

Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science, by Christoph Irmscher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) *Louis Agassiz was a 19th century Harvard professor of geology and zoology, and founder of Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. He encouraged young students to be enthusiastic about science (fish, turtles, barnacles, etc). However, when he immigrated from Europe, he was repelled by the Black population, and offered explanations such as that the brain of the Negro is that of the imperfect brain of a 7-month-old infant in the womb of a white. He believed in polygenesis and opposed miscegenation, yet was against slavery. Read it.

13) Constructing Knowledge: Objectivity, Science and Politics

Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, by Helen E. Longino (Princeton University Press, 1990)

Value-Free Science? Purity and Power in Modern Knowledge, by Robert N. Proctor (Harvard University Press, 1991)

Science, Truth and Democracy, by Philip Kitcher (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic, by Frederick Grinnell (Oxford University Press, 2009)

14) Medicine, Science and Education Myths about Black People

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by Harriet A. Washington (Doubleday, 2008)

Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues About How Stereotypes Affect Us, by Claude M. Steele (W. W. Norton, 2010)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (Crown Publishing Company, 2010)

Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twentieth Century, by Dorothy Roberts (The New Press, 2011)

Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics, by Lundy Braun (University of Minnesota Press, 2021)

15) Ethics in Genetics and Biomedicine

Risky Business: Genetic Testing and Exclusionary Practices in the Hazardous Workplace, by Elaine Draper (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Assessing Genetic Risk: Implications of Health and Social Policy, edited by Lori B Andrews, Jane E. Fullarton, Neil A. Holtzman, and Arno G. Motulsky (Committee on Assessing Genetic Risks, Institute of Medicine) (National Academy Press, 1994)

Society’s Choices: Social and Ethical Decision-making in Biomedicine, edited by Ruth Ellen Bulger, Elizabeth Meyer Bobby, and Harvey V. Fineberg (National Academy Press, 1995)

Genetic Testing: Care, Consent, and Liability, by Neil F. Sharpe and Ronald F. Carter (A John Wiley and Sons, Inc Publications, 2006)

16) Questioning Simplistic Studies that Use Genetics, Ignoring the Environment

The Implications of Genetics for Health Professional Education, edited by Mary Hager. Proceedings of a 1998 conference chaired by Leon Eisenberg, M.D. (The Joseph Macy Foundation, 1999)

Behavioral Genetics: Clash of Culture and Biology, edited by Ronald A. Carson and Mark A. Rothstein (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)

The Misunderstood Gene, by Michel Morange (Harvard University Press, 2001)

Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation, edited by Erik Parens, Audrey R. Chapman, and Nancy Press (Johns Hopkins University. Press, 2006)

Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense, edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber (Harvard U. Press, 2013)

17) Scientists and War

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Alfred Knopf, 2005)

Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, by Sean B. Carroll (Crown Publishers, 2013)

Scientist Spies - A Memoir of My Three Parents and the Atom Bomb, by Paul Broda, with a Foreword by Tam Dalyell (Troubador Publishing LTD, 2011)