Origins of From Small Beginnings...

From Small Beginnings has been set up as an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project and also one that brings together academics, practitioners and activists in the field of eugenics and disability.









Mark Pimm

Mark Pimm (himself blind) has been the Birkbeck Disability Manager for nearly 20 years, and is an active member of the Disabled Staff Network, the Diversity Rep for UNISON at Birkbeck and also has strong links with Disability practitioners and groups across the country. His passion for this area has come from a long career connected to the ever changing face of disability across the University of London, thousands of daily interactions with Disabled students, ensuring their support during their time on campus and advocating for the Equality Act and disability rights.



Benedict Ipgrave

Benedict has the fortune of having worked with Mark for a few years in the disability department at Birkbeck, where he continues to work (though now in a different department) and to play an active role in the Disabled Staff Network. He is also currently doing a PhD at UCL, where he has become very aware of the happenings and impact of the ongoing UCL Eugenics inquiry. Before this he worked with children on the SEN register in Secondary Education in London and teenagers in Saint Petersburg, and has played an active role in several outreach and charitable inniatives.



Thank you

We have initiated this series with the help of colleagues across the University of London. We have relied on people's and institution's passion in these themes and their good will, to take ownership of such events - we have offered a shared platform for institutions to contribute to as they see fit. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has organised or been involved in initiating events for this series, all the good will and support that people have shown for making this series a possibility has been ever so appreciated. We would also particularly like to thank the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism, Birkbeck Disabled Staff Network, Birkbeck School of Law, colleagues on the UCL Eugenics Inquiry, and our friends and colleagues in UoLDOG (University of London Disability Practitioners), without who's support and guidance none of this would have been possible.

We have generated a network of people passionate about this subject, but we would also very much like to invite you to join us.


Origins of title

“Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them, that they started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitudes of physicians… Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans.”

Leo Alexander

Series endorsed by...

NADSN London Hub

UoLDOG (University of London Disability Officers Group)

Birkbeck College, University of London


Benedict Ipgrave (Programme Curator)