Was Bell a Proponent of Eugenics and the Practice of Human Engineering?

​No. Bell was not a proponent of human engineering. Bell had an interest in the burgeoning science of genetics and heredity stemming from the work of Charles Darwin, whose groundbreaking research was published in 1859.

In November 1883, Bell presented a paper at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences titled “Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race.” In the paper, Bell notes that “We cannot dictate to men and women whom they should marry and natural selection no longer influences mankind to any great extent.”

This scientific paper, one of only two on the subject of heredity that Bell wrote in his lifetime, offers Bell’s own research regarding deaf persons and their offspring. It makes no public policy or social engineering recommendations to reduce the frequency of deafness in society.

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