Heredity and Society documents the proceedings of a symposium on heredity and society sponsored by the Birth Defects Institute of the New York State Department of Health held in Albany, New York, October 26-27, 1971. The central theme, ""Heredity and Society"" means taking part in the exploration of the science of genetics as it affects and is affected by modern life. The contributions made by researchers at the symposium are organized into five sections. The two papers in Section 1 review the history of genetics and discuss ongoing human evolution. Section II presents two studies on changes in the frequency of genes in the population and the evolution of human behavior. Section III contains studies on the effects of genetic counseling and couples who get genetic counseling. Section IV presents some reflections about the consequences of past, present, and future life styles in reproduction of citizens living in Western democracies. It also includes studies on the genetic implications of abortion and the impact of congenital malformations on society. Section V deals with sex chromosome abnormalities; mass screening programs for inborn errors of metabolism; and ethical issues raised by advances in genetics.