Earlier this year a debate at University College London asked Why Isn’t My Professor Black?
Michael Arthur, the UCL provost, was asked by a student during a panel session why the institution continued to celebrate Francis Galton, the father of eugenics.
“There is a collection after his name, a lab after his name, even a lecture theatre after his name – what is the basis for this man to be celebrated when there is no basis for black academics and black alumni to be celebrated in this campus?” the student asked.
Professor Arthur replied: “You’re not the first person to make that point to me; my only defence is that I inherited him.”
The “inheritance” of Galton is explored in this short film which accompanies a follow-up event at UCL on 10 October 2014, and is titled: “Eugenics at UCL: We inherited Galton”.
Click here for an article on Galton’s legacy at UCL, and the wider complicity of universities in eugenics, by Nathaniel Adam Tobias
Coleman, research associate in the philosophy of “race” at University College London.