Page 3, 12th March 1937

12th March 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 12th March 1937 — CATHOLIC BIOLOGIST ON HUMAN HEREDITY Every Home a Fund of Information

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People: Rcnouf, Renouf


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The lecturer at the recent meeting of the London Graduates Sociality was Professor Rcnouf, of University College, Cork. Taking human heredity as his subject the lecturer first referred to the work of Mendel as being all-important. Through it the study of heredity, i.e., the inheritance of characters, had become an exact science, he said. Following the rediscovery of Mendel's work and the repeating of his experiments a great deal of work had been done with plants and animals in both the laboratory and the field.

Much had been done, also, Professor Renouf continued, by statistical methods regarding inheritance in animals which breed too slowly and are too costly for experimental work to show that many of their characteristics follow Mendel's laws. A combination of the statistical method with known " pedigrees " had made it clear, too. that many human characters, physiological and psychical as well as physical, follow these laws.

The lecturer, for these reasons, laid great emphasis on the importance of the Bureau of Human Heredity and urged his audience to send in data concerning the occurrence of various characteristics in their own families, advancing as a main reason for this the conviction that the more that is known about human inheritance the more obvious it becomes that the various measures that are being urged to limit renroduction will not bring about the results for which their promoters are looking.

No Fear of Undesirable Laws

During the discussion which followed the lecture Professor Temple expressed the fear that increased knowledge of human heredity might lead to undesirable legislation. The lecturer replied that a proper knowledge would be the surest preventive of such legislation and therefore urged his audience not to be deterred from helping the Bureau by what Professor Temple had said. In any case, he added, Catholics should take sufficient interest in public affairs to prevent undesirable legislation.

In conclusion. Professor Renouf said that the real reason why he had accepted the invitation to speak to them was to have the opportunity of asking every member of his audience to join the Catholic Biologists' Guild of Mendel and Pasteur.

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