A secret eugenics conference at UCL was attended by Toby Young
And we thought ‘white campus’ was bad
It may sound harmless, but the London Conference on Intelligence, held for the past three years at UCL, is anything but.
Organised by honorary senior lecturer James Thompson, the exclusive, invitation-only conference has hosted speakers from all manner of extremist viewpoints, including a blogger who has written in support of child rape.
The man in question, Emil Kirkegaard, wrote that paedophiles should be allowed to have "sex with a sleeping child". Other controversial figures in attendance include "unapologetic eugenicist" Richard Lynn, and Toby Young, who recently resigned from the Office for Students after backlash over his inappropriate tweets.
Young claims that his attendance at the top-secret event was for the purpose of researching a speech on the history of controversies surrounding intelligence researchers.
“Attendees were only told the venue at the last minute, an anonymous ante-chamber at the end of a long corridor, called ‘lecture room 22’, and asked not to share this information with anyone else," Young said.
“One of the attendees, on discovering I was a journalist, pleaded with me not to write about the fact that he was there – he didn’t want his colleagues to find out.
“But these precautions were not unreasonable, considering the reaction that any references to between-group differences in IQ generally provoke", Young added.
A YouTube channel for the conference, which features the UCL logo in its branding, offers videos of talks from the conference, including one entitled "Differential immigrant group performance – A matter of intelligence?", and another which seems to suggest that atheism is a symptom of genetic inferiority in populations.
Science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford has criticised the conference, which was revealed by the London Student, saying “There are some people at these meetings with some deeply obnoxious views that are also scientifically invalid – notably Richard Lynn.
"Human variation is, of course, real. But the proportion of genetic difference that is reflected in the characteristics that we can see is minuscule.
“What that means is that evolution is deceptive in this regard: we broadly use skin colour and hair texture – visual cues to class people into races but they are terrible reflections of overall genetic difference.
“In fact, there is more genetic diversity within Africa than in the rest of the world. Two black Africans are more likely to be more different to each other than they are to a white person or even an east Asian”.
However shit your schedule looks today, cherish yourself a little for the fact you will never create the calendar event "Secret Eugenics Conference"
— Marina Hyde (@MarinaHyde) January 11, 2018
This revelation follows a controversy last month, in which the official UCL Twitter account posted a clumsily worded tweet about a "white campus".
However, as BME Officer Ayo Olatunji, noted in his blog last month entitled 'Why Does My University Uphold White Supremacy?: The Violence of Whiteness at UCL', UCL's involvement with racism and eugenics has historic roots. Several buildings on campus are named after 'race scientists', including Karl Pearson, former UCL Chair of Eugenics, infamous eugenicist Francis Galton, and Flinders Petrie, who provided human remains from archaeological digs to be used for Galton and Pearson's 'science'.
A petition has been created by SUUCL sabbatical officers calling for UCL to investigate "how it is that this group was ever permitted to hold its conferences at UCL, and to rescind and deny any future requests by this group to use our space."
UCL have denied knowledge of the conference and its content. A spokesperson for the university 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.”