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Eugenics.  A tiny little word with an amazingly complex meaning, eugenics was once held as the science of "better breeding," and the mechanism for birthing a better, more fit society.  Utilizing theories of evolution, polygenesis, phrenology, and genetic inheritance, eugenic beliefs filtered into every aspect of Western culture.  Today, remnants of eugenics inform and dictate policies in education, housing, health, punishment, finance, amusements, immigration, and race.  The Acumen Group deconstructs these theories to raise awareness of eugenics -- past and present and help others address both personal and institutional bias based on eugenic ideologies.   



#EugenicallySpeaking, the home represents both the soil from which the crop of fit, eugenically sound Americans would grow, and the incubator within which ideas about race hygiene, respectability, womanhood and manhood, and citizenship would be nourished.  The vast majority of eugenic texts and treatises assert that the home environment serves as a breeding ground for the poor germ plasm of its inhabitants.  Eugenicists like Paul Popenoe, whose textbook Applied Eugenics remained in print and used in colleges across the country until the 1950s, the home determines the I.Q., propensity for criminality, immorality, and usefulness of the children born within it.




The Acumen Group honored the writers, directors, producers, and actors of the British soap opera Coronation Street in October 2023 for their research-worthy performances.  Using the strength of their talents, our examination of potentially eugenic themes on the show yielded both a bounty of data and a book award for Popular Eugenics in Television & Film.  Here are the presentations of our awards at ITV Studios in Manchester (UK), to Alison King (for her portrayal of Carla Barlow), Chris Gascoyne (for his portrayal of Peter Barlow), and William Roache, (for his portrayal of Ken Barlow).  An additional Acumen award was accepted by actor Simon Gregson, who portrays Steve McDonald, (on behalf of the writers, directors, and producers).  King and Gascoyne provided Acumen with valuable insight into their characters -- who wrestled with the residue of childhood traumas and adult addictions while forging a formidable (sometimes volatile) romantic relationship with each other. Affectionately known as #Carter, Carla and Peter Barlow afforded researchers amazing test subjects of eugenically unfit (but purely lovable) characters who beat the odds and cultivated an almost surreal, passionate, and productive union. 


Photos and video footage -- even our bloopers -- by Alison Sinclair for ITV Coronation Street on behalf of The Acumen Group. / All rights reserved.  Copyright 2023  

A Celebration of Acumen Endeavors 2023

Meet the Acumen Team


Acumen Courses & Lectures 


Winner of 2023-2024 Best Academic Book - International Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society


Popular Eugenics in Television & Film 

In Search of Purity: 

Popular Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes 1915-1935


Winner of the 2019-2020 Best Academic History Book Award from the International Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society


Available for purchase in our online bookstore or at book retailers worldwide 


"If you do not understand eugenics in the framing of race policies, what you believe you know of racism, Otherness, and national character, will only confuse you." 

-- Dr. Shantella Sherman 

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Winner of 2019-2020 Best Academic Book - International Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

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