UCL Division of Biosciences


Lionel Penrose: Scientist, Geneticist, and Dedicated Opponent of Eugenics

19 April 2024

Lionel Sharples Penrose was the third Galton Chair at UCL from 1944 until his retirement in 1965, a pioneer in the study of mental illness and a passionate opponent of eugenics.

Photo of Lionel Penrose

He was primarily responsible for removing “eugenics” from the name of the department that eventually morphed into the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE), and from the journal that changed its name to the Annals of Human Genetics. Maria Kiladi, a Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies, has written a historical perspective on Lionel Penrose which is published and freely available in the Annals of Human Genetics.