Reviews and Testimonials

Gloria Steinem

Writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer

“In this time of false facts and backlash against a new equality, A DANGEROUS IDEA should be required viewing.”

Gloria Steinem

Counterpunch Magazine

Reviews by Martin Billheimer and Louis Proyect

“Dead on – [The filmmaker] connects the unsubtle ideology of fascist doctoring with the unsubtle democratic policies of welfare reform, unemployment, deregulation and urban management.”

 

Martin Billheimer, “Frankenstein’s Burden

 

“[What] gives [the film] added value is its critique of genetics as a way of understanding human beings and society in the face of commonly accepted beliefs that genes determine destiny.”

 

Louis Proyect, “Racism and Eugenics, American-Style

 

Brent Marchant

Library Journal

“Excellent documentary…Illustrates how these dubious concepts have been shaped to espouse an idea that is not only dangerous but goes against what America supposedly stands for. A scathing indictment of a reprehensible idea whose time is indeed up.”

Brent Marchant

Ralph Nader

political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney

“An effective dissection of the genetic determinist worldview, rising again in new garb and aided by the Trump Administration. This documentary provides a timely rebuttal to those who continue to embrace this dogma, and offers a critique that both Liberals and Conservatives can readily converge behind.”

Ralph Nader

Aaron Leventman

Director of Programming, Santa Fe Film Festival

“A Dangerous Idea is not only rich historic storytelling but an important reminder about the connection between science and equality; a subject that couldn’t be more relevant. This film should be shown in schools as it is ripe for intense discussion and needs to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”

Aaron Leventman

ACADEMIC REVIEWS

Mary Hill

Los Gatos, High School Teacher

“After my students finished reading The Jungle, they were interested in seeing how often ‘natural’, ‘less fit’, ‘wired that way’, and ‘in their DNA’ are still used to explain oppression and inequality. Having a film like this would be helpful for many, including my students.”

Mary Hill

Jennifer Groebner

PhD, Cell and Microbial Biology

“Very worthwhile and timely. From a science standpoint, I appreciate the help communicating that pseudoscience is not real science. Real science is rationally thought out and hypothesis tested and supported.”

Jennifer Groebner

Barbara Katz Rothman

Professor of Sociology, City University of New York

Author: The Book of Life: A Personal and Ethical Guide to Race, Normality and the Implications of the Human Genome Project

“Yes, this is a dangerous idea–and if you want to better understand why, watch this film and see the history, development and presentation of this idea that there is a book of life, a program that determines, from the moment of conception, all that we are and can be. It is indeed one of the more dangerous ideas humans have come up with.”

Barbara Katz Rothman

Dr. James Tabery

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Author, Beyond Versus: The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture

“The never-ending challenge with eugenics is making that abhorrent history relevant to a contemporary audience. A Dangerous Idea meets that challenge by showing how the very same biological justifications of inequality that were used in the past to justify involuntary sterilization, slavery, and genocide are employed in the 21st century to justify anti-immigration policies, the gender pay gap, and racial health disparities. As modern science and modern medicine focus more and more on genetics, A Dangerous Idea reminds viewers that this obsession with genetics is employed by many to promote a vision of society made up of biological ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.”

James Tabery

Stuart Newman

Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College, Founding Member, Council for Responsible Genetics

“An essential and engaging work that I would like to see on the curriculum of every high school, and played in every library, in the United States. It highlights a shameful side of our society, the devaluation of racial minorities and the poor with supportive pseudoscience, which was mainstream policy for much of the nation’s history…These corrosive ideas, accompanied by newer, equally bad science, are now back in full force. This film has appeared at the right time to help turn back this poisonous tide.”

Stuart Newman

Dr. Dave Schubert

Professor and Head, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

“An exceptionally important film. The scientific world is much too DNA-centric and when this world view is sold to the public by the scientific elite, it could lead to the destruction of democratic societies. With the ability to manipulate and then sequence DNA, many scientists assumed that this information would lead to curing most diseases and making genetically modified plants that would feed the world…More complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s and traits such as intelligence are not the result of simple genetics, but of the complex interactions between individuals, social, and environmental factors. Making policy decisions based upon genetics is not only dangerous, but also not scientifically valid.”

Dave Schubert

COMMENTS FROM FILM INTERVIEWEES

ROBERT REICH

Chancellor’s professor of public policy at the UC Berkeley

Author, Supercapitalism

“A DANGEROUS IDEA is extremely timely, because with the current administration we are seeing a renewed threat of a biologically determined politics.”

Robert Reich

TROY DUSTER

Chancellor’s Professor of sociology at UC Berkeley and professor of sociology at NYU

“Claims about the genetic basis of intelligence have been addressed by many film documentaries over the last half century. And so it is quite a statement to say that this film stands alone as the most comprehensive treatment of the topic. Easily accessible to a lay audience, the wide scope and breadth are impressive, and make it likely that this will also soon be a favorite for classroom discussions.”

Troy Duster

ROBERT POLLACK

Director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Science and Religion

“Any idea that denies the basic equality of all people in all their glorious diversity is a dangerous idea. But no such idea is more dangerous than the eugenic version that emerged from the early fusion of Darwinian natural selection with Mendelian genetics. This film A Dangerous Idea performs a great public service in the tradition of American Democracy: go see it!”

Robert Pollack

JOSEPH LEVIN

Co-founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

“When federal resources were used to target the African-American Relf family for forced sterilization in the early 1970s, I knew it was racist and unconstitutional, but had no idea of the frightening history of eugenics and the role that Americans and America played in proselytizing this fraud. A Dangerous Idea captures the true meaning of white supremacy.”

Joseph Levin