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FB-52897-07

Sheila Faith Weiss
Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY 13676-1402)
Mengele's Mentor: The Professional Life and Political Times of Otmar von Verschuer

Despite the numerous books and articles preoccupied with the unethical medical transgressions of German human geneticist Otmar von Verschuer (1896-1969), scholars have neglected to write a full-scale history of the life and times of this most complex man. My proposed biography is meant to provide a corrective. It will not only contextualize his more generally well-known activities prior to 1945; it will also analyze von Verschuer's heretofore unexplored post-War career trajectory. The completed project should lay bare the symbiotic relationship between human genetics and politics in Germany during three distinct historical eras as well as raise significant ethical questions about the professional obligations of scientists in our own day.

Project fields:
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Program:
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2008