|The Society for the Study of Social Biology; The American Eugenics Society|
The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology, formerly known as the Society for the Study of Social Biology and before then as the American Eugenics Society, is dedicated to "furthering the discussion, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge about biological and sociocultural forces which affect the structure and composition of human populations."
The Society formed after the success of the Second International Congress on Eugenics (New York, 1921). The founders included Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Henry Crampton. The organization started by promoting racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, exhibits at county fairs, etc.
Under the direction of Frederick Osborn the society started to place greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics. In 1930, the Society included mostly prominent and wealthy individuals, and membership included many non-scientists. The demographics of the Society gradually changed, and by 1960, members of the Society were almost exclusively scientist and medical professionals. Consequentially, the society focused more on genetics and less on class-based eugenics.
After the Roe v. Wade decision was released in 1973, the Society was reorganized and renamed The Society for the Study of Social Biology. Osborn said, "The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time."
The name was most recently changed to Society for Biodemography and Social Biology.
The Society's official journal is Biodemography and Social Biology, which was originally established in 1954 as Eugenics Quarterly. It was renamed to Social Biology in 1969 and to its current title in 2008.