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January 21, 1911

Euthenics. The Science of Controllable Environment. A Plea for Better Living Conditions as a First Step Toward Higher Human Efficiency.

JAMA. 1911;LVI(3):216. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560030052035

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The title of this book explains its motive and defines the new word it introduces. It deals with race improvement through environment, while eugenics, the corresponding term which suggested the present one, deals with race improvement through heredity. Euthenics, therefore, the author says, precedes eugenics, developing better men now and thus inevitably creating better men in the future. While eugenics has to await investigation and see its results in the future, euthenics has present opportunities. The author might have added that eugenics deals with only one form of prophylaxis or evil and is as yet largely tentative in its methods and recommendations, while the proper use of good environment is a means always at hand and corrective as well as preventive. The name is the most original part of the work, which, however, gives a large amount of wholesome advice on sanitation, education, and the relations of science and education

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