Genetics has during the last hundred years strongly affected what we eat, what diseases we can cure, and how we think about ourselves as human beings. Society has, at the same time, had strong effects on what research topics have been genetically investigated. Among various questions concerning the relationship between genetics and society, two will be more deeply researched and their results presented in English.
The Mendelian Society in Lund was founded in December 1910 and is thereby perhaps the first genetic society in the world. Its role in the development of Swedish genetics from 1920 to 1960 has been well described, but its start is worth a deeper analysis. This involves, among other aspects, to re-track the lives of its starting members a fascinating task since they were a most unusual group of people.
In the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis understanding about evolution was gained by bringing its basic functioning back to simple genetic principles. But where did these simple facts of genetics come from? R. A. Fisher was probably the first who seriously tried to explain a genetic phenomenon (in his case dominance) from Darwinian premises. Such explanations became more common in the 1960s and 1970s, and today all aspects of genetics and genomics are open for Darwinian-based explanations. The intellectual history of how genetics became an object for evolutionary study is worth a serious description.