Why We Should Teach the History of Eugenics

University College of London is grappling with the legacy of UCL professor Francis Galton, best remembered as the founder of eugenics. Across the pond, Haunted Files at NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute is confronting New York’s historical role as an epicenter of international eugenics in the 1910s-1930s. In light of these projects, the Center for Genetics and Society reflects on the importance of teaching eugenics history, especially within the context of higher education:

“Many educational institutions still avoid discussing the history of eugenics, and many are reluctant to confront their own complicity in the abuses it facilitated. But studying eugenics in the twentieth century is important not just as a matter of learning history, but as part of what we need to know in order to thoughtfully consider the responsible uses of genetic technologies today.”

Read it in full here.

University College London Faces Its Eugenics History

What do you do when your university is celebrating one of history’s most influential racists?

Students and faculty at University College London (UCL) are confronting the legacy of Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics and a UCL professor, that continues to pervade the campus. 110 years after Galton brought UCL an offer to fund a study of National Eugenics, UCL students and faculty came together to host a conversation on “race” and racial construction and the legacy of eugenics at UCL. Deliberately, the event took place at UCL’s Francis Galton lecture theatre!

The video below highlights perspectives from UCL community members and experts.