Majority on UCL's Eugenics Inquiry Withdraw Support for Chair's Report

Review of UCL Eugenics Inquiry: Reasons to Reject Recommendations From Chair’s (Minority) Report

The Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL presented the chair’s report on February 2020 to UCL President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur. He received that report, but he also received the alternative MORE group recommendations, which were supported by a majority of members (signed by 10 of 16 members) on the committee. The MORE group recommendations offer a “least common denominator” approach. After agreement…

Historical analysis shows Karl Pearson was a racist nativist supremacist for Anglo-Saxon stock

Review of UCL Eugenics Inquiry: Why I Didn’t Sign the Eugenics Report

I served on UCL’s Investigation into the History of Eugenics. I withdrew my support for the chair’s report, which is published today. Together with nine colleagues also serving on this committee, we’ve created a set of recommendations arising from our work that we have presented to UCL’s President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur. This is the MORE subgroup of this Inquiry, and we constitute 10/16ths…

UCL's Eugenics Inquiry failed to seriously investigate teaching and learning

Review of UCL Eugenics Inquiry: Failure on Teaching and Study

The Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL was expected to report on how we teach and study eugenics in the university. This instruction about teaching was included in our Terms of Reference: “To examine the current status of the teaching and study of eugenics at UCL” (Terms of Reference, 2018) We didn’t do the job. The Inquiry collected a tiny amount of anecdotal…

Student protests during scandal over London Conference on Intelligence (LCI) January 2018

Review of UCL Eugenics Inquiry: Failure on London Conference on Intelligence

The chair’s report from the Investigation into the History of Eugenics at UCL is published today. It did not investigate the London Conference on Intelligence (LCI). That’s odd. I thought that Inquiry was created to get answers about the LCI and to investigate if there was a larger body of activity, or supporting mindset, at the university to support it. Does UCL harbour a network…

University College London (UCL) Wilkins Building at night

UCL’s Eugenics Inquiry: Terms of Reference

The “Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL,” also referred to as the “Eugenics Inquiry,” and the “Eugenics Investigation” operated at University College London (UCL) between November 2018 and February 2020. It was a university committee appointed by UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur. It held three town meetings: March 2019, October 2019, and February 2020. I served on this committee. Terms of Reference…

UCL Galton Lecture Theatre - plaque on door - ProfJoeCain

Time Has Run Out for Francis Galton at UCL

Francis Galton was a bad piece of work. His racist, nativist, supremacist views are antithetical to UCL’s vision and values. He is no role model for me. He should be no role model for you. Time for him to go. I call on UCL to remove all references to Galton in our commemorative practices, such as names used on the estate and names used for…

Image from Cover - Farrall 2019 English Eugenics Movement 9781787510012

Farrall’s (1969) History of English Eugenics, 1865-1925, republished

The history of eugenics in Britain is far from hidden or forgotten. Many excellent papers and books explore the role of individuals (e.g., Francis Galton, Karl Pearson, Ronald Fisher, and Leonard Darwin to name only a few of the men involved) and the role of organisations (e.g., Eugenics Education Society). Eugenics in Britain has been studied in depth with an emphasis on class, gender, race,…