Edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit
Chapter 2: The organizational structure of biology in politics
Biological thought entered political thought in classical antiquity, re-entered during the Scientific Revolution, and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries proved transformative intellectually and culturally. Yet ‘biology in politics’ came to be seen less as explaining than as excusing, even endorsing, political behavior’s worst outcomes. Scholars committed to building a biologically informed understanding of political behavior and to applying that understanding to the improvement of outcomes were for decades few in number, persisting as small networks of scattered colleagues. In the early twenty-first century, in parallel with the rise of molecular genetics and the neurosciences, conditions began to improve. Instructive in these respects is the history of one particular scholarly association and its journal.
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