Terms of Reference for UCL’s Eugenics Inquiry

University College London (UCL) Wilkins Building at night | ProfJoeCain

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, who agreed the terms of reference. It held three town meetings: March 2019, October 2019, and February 2020.

I served on this committee. I have views on what we accomplished and what we did not.

Terms of Reference are provided here only for reference. The source is the documentation I received when started service on the committee.

Terms of reference

  1. To examine the historical role of UCL in the study and teaching of eugenics using oral, archived and other necessary pieces of evidence, including, but not limited to collections of cultural artefacts and human remains and a tour of the UCL Estate.
  2. To examine the current status of the teaching and study of eugenics at UCL
  3. To examine the current status of UCL’s benefit from any financial instruments linked to the study and teaching of eugenics
  4. To provide a recommendation as to what UCL’s current position should be on the teaching, dissemination and study of eugenics and its inherent link to modern day racism 
  5. To provide an intellectual, moral and business based recommendation to UCL on how to manage its current naming of spaces and buildings after prominent eugenicists, including the option of renaming such spaces. This recommendation will be considered through the criteria and process established following the report of the Task and Finish Group on Naming of Spaces at UCL.
  6. To provide an agreed written report for the President and Provost of UCL, containing findings, recommendations and advice on any issues pertaining to the core subject matter by the end of July 2019.

rev: 26 November 2018