The What Sorts Network is an international network of researchers and community members who facilitate individual and collaborative projects addressing aspects of the question “What Sorts of People Should There Be?” Much of the work that we support and are interested in undertaking is focused on understanding the nature of human diversity and variation, our ability to influence this variation, and what this means for how we live together in the world. The network aims to stimulate debate and inform social policy at the interface of the humanities, biomedical technologies, and the social sciences, in ways that will create a more inclusive communities. By providing information to the general public and facilitating connections, either between researchers or university and community organizations, the What Sorts Network will help people from all walks of life keep pace with the rapid changes we are facing.

Specific ways the What Sorts Network carries out its vision include

  • Supporting the collaboration of over 60 researchers and community leaders who already belong to the What Sorts Network, and using the synergy of those collaborations to articulate novel projects that address some aspect of the question “What sorts of people should there be?”.

  • Building living archives dedicated to the under-explored history of eugenics in Western Canada that, in turn, raises broader questions about contemporary technologies, disability, and social policy. Here we are working directly in concert with survivors of eugenic sterilization and institutionalization in Western Canada.

  • Organizing a regular series of conferences and community workshops on themes that relate to the question “What sorts of people should there be?” Accessible video- and audio-recordings of these can be found under Events.

  • Sharing our discussions, events and experiences with the world via the What Sorts blog.

Looking for more than you can find by clicking around on the site? Feel free to email Professor Rob Wilson, What Sorts Network Coordinator, for additional information.