Eugenics and Progressive Social Policies in Norway

Jon Alfred Mjøen explaining Mendel's law in Oslo, ca. 1920. (American Philosophical Society, Eugenic Archives)

While I was researching something completely different I came across a note in Science from 1917 that caught my attention. It informed readers about the launching of a state sponsored race hygiene program in Norway, under the leadership of biologist Jon Alfred Mjøen (1860-1939). After reading up a little I started wondering about the relation between Mjøen’s politically quite active laboratory, Vindern Biologisk Laboratorium (VBL; established 1906), and the heritage of Norway’s progressive legislation in areas such as healthcare, public loans, targeted taxation policies, etc, which are still deeply felt today. Could there be a discernible eugenic motivation behind them?

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New Age televangelists?

In the very first blog post I noted in passing that contemporary media are more than happy to place a spotlight on heterodox religion and heterodox science. Well – in the latest issue of the Norwegian journal for culture- and religious studies, Din, there is an interesting article on alternative spirituality and television. Anne Kalvig focuses on the presence and function of alternative religiosity in Norwegian television media. What’s particularly interesting about it is her analysis of the sister TV channels, TV Norge and Kanal FEM as basing themselves on an “alternative-theological agenda”.

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Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 11:32 am  Comments (4)  
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