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eugenics is that to a considerable extent they have it in their power to encourage larger families. Their efforts would need to be supplemented by economic changes. That such changes are not impossible is indicated by the long period during which the family allowance system has been in successful operation in American mission and educational institutions in foreign countries.
Dr. Schloss, on being asked by the Chairman to comment, expressed bewilderment over the complexity of the problems involved and suggested that the Academy was not ready to take a stand on the matter of eugenics or to advocate any particular measures.
Dr. Stockard said: That would be dodging on the plea of ignorance of the subject. Genetics has gotten into medicine, and few physicians know anything about genetics. The difficulty is that doctors have not yet had time or developed the interest sufficient for any adequate study of human breeding.
Dr. Schloss: But the practical difficulties are too great.
Dr. Stockard: It is not impractical to breed better human beings, it is only a matter of better education.
Dr. Engle: It must be admitted that medical students are at present badly trained in human genetics, let alone acquiring any knowledge of population trends and eugenics.
Dr. Taylor asked why this meeting was called. He felt that a proposition should be presented by the eugenists. There being no specific program of eugenics before the Committee, some clear point should be crystalized and the suggestion should come from the Eugenics Society.
Dr. Huntington said that this Conference was only one of many. Eugenics is in a formative stage. The object of these Conferences is to get light for building a program on the basis of ideas and research from many sources.
Dr. Emerson: Has society become dysgenic? Eugenists make a strong case that this is what has happened. If a rapid diminution of the population is accompanied by a deterioration of those that are born because of an unfortunate distribution of births, with the greatest reduction in births taking place among the stocks most successful in maintaining their health as well as their economic position, something will have to be done about it soon. The situation has reached a point in England where the British Government will undoubtedly soon be taking amelioratory steps. We here have perhaps twenty years before action will be demanded. The physicians must be in the lead in developing population measures on a sound basis. If the eugenic belief that society may deteriorate due to the improper distribution of births is correct, as it probably is, the physicians must help to do something about it.
Mr. Osborn said that the studies in population are not yet sufficiently accurate to give us definite knowledge of present trends, but that all students of population were agreed that under present conditions of society there were many forces acting on the selection of births which have dangerously dysgenic effects.
Dr. Kosmak said that medical education was already crowded, but often with non-essentials. Doctors should be trained to be physicians in the fullest sense,