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Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL – Your Views

19 July 2019

Find out how to participate in a UCL inquiry to collect evidence on the historical role of UCL in the teaching and research of eugenics, its links to modern day racism and future teaching and research.

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UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur and The Commission of Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL would like to invite you to participate in a UCL inquiry to collect evidence on the historical role of UCL in the teaching and research of eugenics, its links to modern day racism and future teaching and research.

The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by British Victorian scientist Francis Galton, who defined it as the science of improving human populations by selective breeding.

The Commission was appointed in December 2018 by Professor Arthur an it is led by an independent Chair, Professor Iyiola Solanke from the School of Law at the University of Leeds. The task of the Commission is to make recommendations on this subject matter. There were various reasons for this, not only the decolonising agenda within and beyond UCL but also the discovery that inside UCL campus, an honorary lecturer had been hosting conferences on eugenics and intelligence for at least three years, unbeknownst to most staff and students.

Professor Arthur and the Commission encourage the whole of the UCL community to engage with this research, to express your views and to help in shaping the response to this important issue. Besides your participation, we kindly request your help in extending this invitation to all your students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and/or staff (academic and non-academic). In the words of Professor Arthur, "We want to ensure that we have the widest evidence base from which to gauge the opinions of UCL and ultimately to take the most appropriate action.”

We will collect the opinions of the UCL community from July to October 2019, and to guarantee the widest evidence base we will send repeated reminder emails during this period. 

To participate, via an online questionnaire and/or a focus group, please click on one of the links below:

Survey for UCL staff and students

Survey for the general public