Notes and Records of the Royal Society

    This paper traces the early (1910s to 1920s) development of Swedish eugenics through a study of the social network that promoted it. The eugenics network consisted mainly of academics from a variety of disciplines, but with medicine and biology dominating; connections with German scientists who would later shape Nazi biopolitics were strong. The paper shows how the network used political lobbying (for example, using contacts with academically accomplished MPs) and various media strategies to gain scientific and political support for their cause, where a major goal was the creation of a eugenics institute (which opened in 1922). It also outlines the eugenic vision of the institute's first director, Herman Lundborg. In effect the network, and in particular Lundborg, promoted the view that politics should be guided by eugenics and by a genetically superior elite. The selling of eugenics in Sweden is an example of the co-production of science and social order.