Sweden Moves to End Forced Sterilization of Transgender People

Sweden, “one of 17 [countries] in the European Union,” may soon change a law that requires transgendered people to become sexually sterilized if they decide to officially change gender.  Sweden has made moves to repeal the law in January, only to be stopped by the Christian Democrat Party.  However, this party has recently changed their mind, allowing the repeal to go through.

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/sweden-moves-to-end-forced-sterilization-transgender-people

This move was partially in thanks to an online petition, by AllOut (http://allout.org/en/actions/stop_forced_sterilization), which gained 80,000 international signatures to repeal the law.  However, the date for repealing the law is still pending.

Countries that still require sterilization include France, Italy, Romania, Poland, Greece, and Portugal.  For a map outlining the current status of European sterilization, you can link here: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/most-european-countries-force-sterilization-transgender-people-map

Mixed Britannia

In October 2011, BBC released a documentary series entitled “Mixed Britannia.”  A related news article can be found at the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15164970

The first couple of parts spend quite a bit of time touching on the pseudo-science of eugenics in Britain, and the role it played in shaping its society, as well as its views on women.

The Racial Hygiene Society focused in the early 1900s on looking at race, and most specifically, mixed race.  As one quote from the documentary stated, Continue reading

One Child, Three Biological Parents – End of Diseases?

Last week, The Telegraph announced that within three years, it will be possible to have three biological parents for any one embryo using in-vitro fertilization.  Why would anyone pursue such a technique?  To “eradicate hereditary disease.”  You can read the full artcle below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9025121/Babies-with-three-parents-possible-within-three-years.html

This controversial method proposes that transferring a tiny fraction of DNA from a different donor than only the parents will result in a child without mitochondria-related diseases.  (Mitochondrial diseases are often severe and incurable, including muscular dystrophy and ataxia).  Researchers believe they can wipe out such diseases within a generation.  Children would also retain DNA from both their mother and their father.  The genetic implant of a third person is described as being “as minimal as changing the batteries in a camera.”

Researchers are also placing great emphasis on needing public support, before current laws (which would prevent such an operation) become changed.  Strong opposition comes from “groups who oppose embryo research and claim genetic engineering can result in serious defects.”

What is perhaps equally interesting to the article itself is the poll available on the website.  The Telegraph asks: Continue reading

Post-Conference Technical Things

Last week, the Living Archives group held a conference that took place over the span of two days: Friday, October 22, and Saturday, October 23. This conference allowed for many partners to meet up, as busy schedules so rarely allow.

From a technical standpoint, the conference was also an opportunity for an introduction of a website development plan, which was presented to associated members. This website looks to incorporate archives (image, document, video, and physical) with public interface, and a back-end research interface, allowing scholars and researchers access to documents that for various reasons aren’t in the public domain. As well, a proposal for a series of learning or discovery modules was set forward, which would look to recontextualize archival material with educational and interactive elements, presenting information in new and interesting ways.

For those with access to the Living Archives Wiki, the plan and associated presentation are available on the wiki.