University College London (UCL) is investigating after one of their academics appears to have hosted a controversial eugenics conference without their knowledge.
The conference, which has gone unnoticed by the university for three years in a row, included white supremacist speakers such as Richard Lynn. Lynn has authored books such as Race Differences in Intelligence and has called for the "phasing out" of "incompetent cultures".
Eugenics is the belief in the possibility of improving the human race by selectively preventing those with certain presumed inherited undesirable traits from breeding and thus passing them on
The conference came under close scrutiny this week after Private Eye discovered that the UK Government's controversial appointee to the board of the Office for Students, Toby Young, had attended the conference.
Young said in a BBC Radio 4 interview, in which he defended "progressive eugenics", that he had attended the conference last year. He revealed that the conference was held secretly and "attendees were only told the venue at the last minute and asked not to share any information."
The conference, organized by honorary Professor James Thompson, covered extremely contentious topics and was attended by several prominent white supremacists. It's possible the organizers believed that if the details of where and when it was held leaked out, they would have been met with student protest.
Private Eye reports that at the 2016 conference, one paper argued that racial differences in penis length are a predictor of levels of parental care, whilst another paper stated that racial "admixture" had a negative effect on population "quality".
James Thompson, the organizer, has written several articles claiming men are innately more intelligent than women, and plenty of other works that suggest when it comes to intellectual achievement in the UK, "some ethnic groups contribute relatively little," referencing ideas on race-based intelligence the kind of which hasn't been mainstream since the 1900s.
Thompson is an honorary senior lecturer at UCL, though it said it had no knowledge of the conferences hosted on its campus. The university told the Guardian that they asked Thompson for an explanation, and suspended approval for him hosting any further conferences or speakers.
“UCL is investigating a potential breach of its room bookings process for events,” the spokesperson said.
“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.”