For more than 40 years North Carolina ran one of the nation’s largest and most aggressive sterilization programs. It expanded after World War II with help from a wealthy New Yorker and an heir to the Procter & Gamble fortune, even as most other states pulled back in light of the horrors of Hitler’s Germany.
North Carolina’s historic debate over its eugenic past was launched by Against Their Will, a series in the Winston-Salem Journal. The series led directly to an apology from the governor and the first legislation in America to compensate victims of involuntary sterilization.
I wrote the chapter The Biology of Behavior, which looks at the ethical issues around choosing expert commentators.
A Field Guide
for Science Writers
The Official Guide of the National Association of Science Writers
Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson and Robin Marantz Henig, editors