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University College London Launches Investigation Into Secret Eugenics Conferences Hosted on Campus

Photo: Robert Cutts/Flickr
Photo: Robert Cutts/Flickr

On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that the University College London had opened an investigation into a series of conferences on “eugenics and intelligence” that were somehow allowed to flourish covertly on its campus for at least three years.

On Monday, the London Student newspaper revealed in an exposé about the conference that Toby Young, the head of the New Schools Network, attended the conference last May. Yesterday, Young announced he was resigning from his post as director of the Office of Students, as well as his position as a Fulbright Commissioner (meaning that while he was not an employee of the Fulbright Commission—which manages student scholarships—he was on their selection committee), according to the Guardian.

“The London Conference on Intelligence,” as the event was called, reportedly drew several notable speakers, including white supremacists, and, according to the London Student, “a self-taught geneticist who argues in favor of child rape.”

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UCL claims it had no idea it was sheltering this heinous event. A spokesperson for the school said, “UCL is investigating a potential breach of its room bookings process for events…. Our records indicate the university was not informed in advance about the speakers and content of the conference series, as it should have been for the event to be allowed to go ahead.”

I guess that means it’s pretty easy for any large group of people to just stroll up to a building on UCL’s campus and conduct meetings there for several days. Perhaps the investigation will shed some light.

contributing writer, nights

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DISCUSSION

What gets me about the wider Toby Young thing..... is yet again the way that these governments/influential groups react with surprised indignation to finding out awful people are awful, and do and say awful things.

Toby Young has been awful since forever. He has been known to be awful by everyone for a very long time. I remember when I was an adolescent in the cretaceous era he’d often be featured as a talking head on music/culture documentaries and I’d have to switch it off because I couldn’t stand to look at his smug dickhead face, even if he was only talking about Brit-Pop or whatever.

They appointed him to a lofty important role after he wrote articles about how he doesn’t believe the state should bother educating ‘lesser’ (by his estimation) children and made repeated sexual comments about an MP’s breasts and basically everyone woman ever, plus made wildly homophobic ‘jokes’ at every opportunity. Then when it ‘came out’ that he was a racist sexist homophobic eugenicist prick they were like “OMG the journalist who seems obsessed with the idea that some people are inherently inferior is a not actually all that secret eugenicist? Who’d have thought it!?!?’. Because putting someone who consistently dehumanises and shit-talks children into an influential role in educational policy was otherwise a great fucking idea.

I mean I suppose the point was that he is a rabid Tory and that’s what they wanted, but he is also the least likeable person ever, so his influence with 99% of the population will continue to be ‘Wait THAT dude supports this? I better do the entire opposite then’.