UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Eugenics and modern-day inequalities

16 November 2021, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Dr Maria Kiladi

Why are we talking about Eugenics in relation to UCL? Does Eugenics have any relevance to modern-day inequalities?

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Prof Panagiota Angeli – UCL Chemical Engineering

Inequalities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought discussions on eugenics to the foreground. Narratives on Eugenics post-1945 tend to draw sharp distinctions between pre- and post-1945, implying that it underwent a disintegration due to changing social attitudes. In this talk, I will explore its relevance to modern-day inequalities and how it has contributed to normalisation of racism, ableism and discrimination. Eugenics, a term which originated in 1883 with Francis Galton, became an academic discipline at UCL through the work of Karl Pearson and his Department of Applied Statistics and Eugenics, which was created in 1911 and lasted until his retirement in 1933. But it was far from just a UCL discipline: it shaped immigration policies and Mental Health Acts, and its ideas are far more widespread that we think.

Presented by

Dr Maria Kiladi, UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS).


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About the Speaker

Dr Maria Kiladi

Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Dr Maria Kiladi is a Research Fellow working on the History of Eugenics at UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS). The Project, Legacies of Eugenics, has been established by the Provost’s special fund in January 2020. Maria’s research focuses mainly on Karl Pearson and his Department of Applied Statistics and Eugenics that was set up in 1911, and on the two laboratories he led, the Biometric and the Francis Galton Laboratory for the Study of National Eugenics. Of particular interest is the wider context of UCL’s Eugenics. Before joining the Legacies Project, Maria worked for UCL’s Eugenics Inquiry Committee as a Research Fellow between May and September 2019, investigating the role of Eugenics in the history of UCL. Her research provided the basis for the recommendations that were subsequently published by the Committee.

More about Dr Maria Kiladi