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1st and 2nd May, University College London
‘Eugenics in Science and

Culture:UCL Workshop and Wikithon'




Hosted by Professor Joe Cain (UCL)

For many decades, the history and legacy of eugenics have been subjects of investigation by historians and philosophers of science. In February 2020, University College London’s Commission of Inquiry to Investigate the History of Eugenics at UCL is due to report its findings. Experts in the history and philosophy of science community are in an important position to reflect on the report. This is a call for participation in a one-day workshop to digest and reflect upon this Inquiry’s report, and a one-day Wikithon to expand resources about the subject in Wikipedia.

These events are not part of the Inquiry’s work; they are part of a longer term Legacies of Eugenics project in UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS), directed by Professor Joe Cain.




1. Workshop at UCL Bloomsbury Campus on 01 May 2020


The purposes of the workshop will be:

  1. to digest and reflect upon the Inquiry’s historical and philosophical (not only ethical) findings,

  2. to present complimentary research about eugenics investigations and advocacy previously undertaken at UCL and University of London,

  3. to contribute to the construction of context for activity at UCL, such as historical context across other universities or knowledge networks, or philosophical context across issues of categorization, empowerment, or responsibility.

  4. use concepts and practice in history and philosophy of science to further inform the ongoing discussion about the legacy of eugenics. For instance, What is a “legacy”? What is “agency” and “responsibly” in subjects such as this? How might we understand “consequence”?


Registration to attend is free but required, as space is limited. Use Eventbrite.

2. Wikithon at UCL Bloomsbury Campus on 02 May 2020


Our one-day workshop will be followed by a one-day Wikithon (aka, an “edit-a-thon”) in which speakers, attendees, and other experts will be invited to update, refine, and expand open access resources on Wikipedia relevant to the history and legacy of eugenics. We’ll also identify materials for an open access reading list about history and legacies of eugenics for use by students and researchers.

What’s a Wikithon? This New Yorker story describes an example of what and why. Wikithons have become impactful tools for reducing gaps in coverage over Wikipedia’s massive network of information. Examples include the annual Women in STEM Wikithon, the US Making Mobile Gov series, and the annual Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon.

The editorial rules for these events are defined by Wikipedia.

For information on contributing to either the Workshop or the (presentations, Youtube, blogs, etc.) Wikithon, and more information on the Legacies of Eugenics Project follow this link...


Science and Technology Studies,

University College London 



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