Involuntary sterilisation is a key part of eugenics, and has occurred in the US in the last decade. This new policy is also eugenics.…
The USA was always one of the most enthusiastic adopters of eugenics in the 20th Century. 31 states had official policies and somewhere between 60 and 80,000 people were sterilised, California being the most enthusiastic.
It seems the most incongruous policy in light of America's constitutional commitment to Life and Liberty, and the popular anti-abortion stance that so many conservatives hold.
But the US are far from alone in enacting 21st century concentration camp style eugenics. In 2010, China enacted the Iron Fist Campaign – compulsory sterilisation over the course of 3 months of 10,000 women who had more than one baby.
It is striking to me that while we, quite rightly, consider and remove the names of men who enthusiastically designed or supported eugenics from institutions, we continue to embrace countries that enact eugenics today.
the names Galton and Pearson are gone from UCL's buildings. RA Fisher and Flinders Petrie will likely follow.
Let these events be moments for us to learn and know our history, and consider our present and future. This not the erasure of history but its exposure.
Eugenics, population control, birth control, these are much broader concepts than the century of eugenics as named. How biology and society are intrinsically and inseparably entwined.

This will be the subject of my next book.

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More from @AdamRutherford

12 Aug
Here is an academic (preprint) paper describing the methods in the DNA sequencing tech for one of the two companies that the Gov have procured to test for COVID-19. 1/x
The other company, DNA Nudge has no such equivalent. Instead it has a shiny shop in Covent Garden, and a product that tests the boundaries of where direct-to-consumer genetics meet snake oil
And a bit more:
Read 15 tweets
12 Jul
It is so perpetually exhausting to have to correct these medically and scientifically illiterate pub bores that somehow have national voices gifted to them not by talent or knowledge, but by virtue of nothing other than their volume.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge
Herd immunity does not work like this - as we teach in GCSE biology. Individual immunity, typically via vaccination, prevent the spread of a contagious disease through a population when a majority of that population are immunised and this cannot infect others when exposed to it.
Read 12 tweets
5 Jul
On Lawrence Krauss' assertion that science is not systematically racist - a thread
1st: let us put aside the multiple serious accusations of sexual harassment and subsequent retirement from ASU, and being the beneficiary of $100,000s and subsequent grotesque defence of Jeffrey Epstein, and that Quillette is a terrible, silly publication worthy of ignoring 2/n
I won't to pick apart this whole article, cos it’s mostly waffly rhetoric at which Krauss is a master, and anecdote bordering on the ‘some of best friends are Black’ fallacy. But a couple of points. Warning, this is quite long. 3/n
Read 27 tweets
19 Jun
It is a very powerful phrase, but I did not create it. I borrowed and paraphrased it from @helenlewis whom I thought had coined it. But she denies coining it too.
@helenlewis It pops up in various forms, mostly in reference to feminism, and Quote Investigator gives citations back to '97.
@helenlewis I am happy to popularise it, but it is not my idea.
This btw reminds me of the roots of 'We see further by standing on the shoulders of giants' a key phrase in science, that we attribute to Newton.
Read 13 tweets
10 Jun
History is not contained within information-free statues. Idolatry is.

Try a book.
Most people knew nothing of Edmund Colston before his defenestration.
I’ll bet 90% of people bitching about the removal of a statue of slave dealer Robert Milligan had never heard of him.
In contrast, the history of Nazi Germany seems pretty well covered despite no statues of Hitler. Weird huh?

History is not being erased, because history is not contained with statues. History is being made.
Read 7 tweets
4 Jun
Good thread on naming things after people whose views are now considered unacceptable, in this case the phenomenally brilliant RA Fisher, who was also an staunch eugencist.
At UCL we are going through this process many times over, with a formal enquiry into our eugenics past, notably with Galton in mind, but also Pearson, Fisher, and others.
My views on this topic are complex, and for e.g. I see little problem with renaming things that were established many years after the person concerned had died, as with the Pearson and Galton buildings at UCL
Read 13 tweets

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