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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Konrad Lorenz and the National Socialists: On the Politics of Ethology

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The observation that science is influenced by politics has often been noted, but the details as to how, by whom, and to what ends, differ so much from case to case that the theme remains interesting. During the cold war it was, usually, physics and chemistry, occasionally mathematics, whose directions were thought to be influenced by political pressures (Snow, 1961). Biology came into prominence with the Vietnam War, and interest in an array of biological weapons, from defoliants to nerve gaseslikewise influenced a great deal of research. If one's memory goes back to earlier times, one also recalls the relations that developed between psychology and the politics of immigration and education, which had a  lasting impact on developments in the study of intelligence (Gould, 1981). Nor have the politics of religion been irrelevant (Durant, 1985).

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