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Pan Guangdan

Pan Guangdan (Chinese: 潘光旦; 1898–1967) known in English as Quentin Pan, was a Chinese sociologist, eugenicist, and writer. He was one of the most distinguished sociologists and eugenicists of China. Educated at Tsinghua University on a Boxer Indemnity Scholarship, Dartmouth College and Columbia University, he was also a renowned expert on education. His wide research scope included eugenics, education policy, matrimony policy, familial problems, prostitute policy, and intellectual distributions. Pan's wide-ranging intellect led to his active participation in the Crescent Moon Society.[1]

For Pan, eugenics was both a political and scientific matter, and he is credited with the popularization of eugenic thought in the 1920s and '30s in China. Some of his most influential works include The Eugenic Question in China (中国之优生问题)and Chinese Family Problems (中国之家庭问题)(1928). In these works, Pan promoted the family structure over individualism, which he believed, along with traditional marriage, to be most effective in racial improvement through biological inheritance. Urban living, he said, only promoted decadent individualism and contributed nothing to the racial fitness of the nation. Although he supported the use of state power for the implementation of eugenic policies, primarily through his founding of The Chinese Eugenics Institute, conflicts such as the Sino-Japanese War, World War II, and the civil war between the KMT and the Communists prevented governmental adoption of his ideas.[2]

Pan's most famous student/was Fei Xiaotong, the "father of Chinese anthropology."

Pan joined the China Democratic Groups League (later China Democratic League) in 1941, and was a standing committee member of the central committee of the League. During the Anti-Rightist Movement, he was determined to be a "rightist." Pan was persecuted in Cultural Revolution, and died in 1967, at 69. He was rehabilitated in 1979.


  1. ^ "P'an Kuang-tan," Boorman, Howard L., et al., eds (1970). Biographical Dictionary of Republican China Vol III. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231045581.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link), pp. 61-63.
  2. ^ Dikotter, Frank. The Discourse of Race in Modern China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992. pp. 174–185.

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