'From Small Beginnings...' - International

From November 2020 there will be a programme of events across America leading up to marking 100 years since the Second International Eugenics Congress held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (September 25th-27th, 1921).


Today in our communities the legacies of eugenics are still prevalent. With new technologies and scientific developments, coupled with extreme consumerism and a global movement of popularism, the growing opportunities for a new wave of extreme (mutated) eugenics in our society, are more and more apparent. Like our predecessors a century ago we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in the history of eugenics, genetics and politics, where new technologies and biological interventions and new political norms could well determine the ethical standards of tomorrow. The current Covid-19 crisis is again raising questions about how the relative value of the lives of different sections of the population is viewed. We believe that public discussions and engagement are essential to prepare ourselves for the decade ahead and ensure that we do not fall into the same mistakes of the past where 100 years ago the foundations were set for some of the most extreme forms and practices of eugenics.

North America will take the lead in the programme up to the summer of 2021, with the marking of 100 years of the Second International Eugenics Congress and events to be held in collaboration between London and New York in the summer of 2021. Regional reflections across America (California, the Mid-West, the South and New England regional events) and Canada and Mexico, France, Romania and Poland (for now) as they did a century ago, will feed into and help to shape discussions to be had in the summer of 2021.

More information about these regional reflections and events in the summer of 2021 to follow.

Series supported by...


NADSN London Hub

Birkbeck College, University of London

UoLDOG : University of London (colleges) Disability Officers Group


Benedict Ipgrave (Programme Curator)