Science and Democracy : Lessons from Buck vs. Bell, Paul Lombardo
Interviewee: Paul Lombardo. Carrie Buck, who was stripped of her right to reproduce, was born only blocks away from Jefferson's rotunda at the University of Virginia, a symbol of American freedom. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Trial of Carrie Buck > Prologue > Fragility of American freedoms)
I'm standing at the rotunda of the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's monument is widely considered a symbol of freedom, and the American dream for human rights. Only a few blocks from here, Carrie Buck was born and eventually taken away to the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and the Feebleminded, and then sterilized. Putting Jefferson's rotunda alongside the story of Carrie Buck, reminds us of how fragile our freedoms are, and how the uses of science can sometimes take us down dark paths.
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Paul Lombardo discusses the falsehoods on which the Buck vs. Bell decision was based.
The rotunda of the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's monument is widely considered a symbol of freedom, and the American dream for human rights.
Virginia Sterilization Act. Source: Paul Lombardo, University of Virginia.
Paul Lombardo talks about the only photograph of Carrie Buck with her mother Emma, taken the day before she would stand trial before the collective onslaught of the American eugenics movement.
mma and Carrie Buck were committed to the Virginia Colony because they were unmarried mothers and were considered morally delinquent.
Paul Lombardo talks about Virginia was the 14th of 30 states to pass a eugenic sterilization law.
Paul Lombardo talks about Amherst County Courthouse was the first step of a legal case that would lead all the way to the Supreme Court.
The day before the Virginia case, Arthur Estabrook photographed Carrie and Emma on a bench located at this spot in the Virginia Colony.
Paul Lombardo talks about Carrie's lawyer, Irving Whitehead, colluded with lawyers representing the Virginia Colony to help insure that the case went to the Supreme Court.
Paul Lombardo talks about the historical significance of Buck vs. Bell.