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Anti-eugenics protest in London at Galton Society

Genetic Crossroads
November 21st, 1999

This report from David King in London:

"On September 17, activists from People Against Eugenics disrupted
the meeting of the Galton Institute, formerly the Eugenics Society.
The action prevented Arthur Jensen from delivering his Galton
lecture on race and IQ."

[Jensen is the UC professor of educational psychology who claims that
the differences between African American and white American IQ scores
are genetically caused, and who has urged `genetic foresight.']

"The decision of the venue (The Zoological Society of London) to
close down the meeting also prevented Glayde Whitney of the
University of Florida from speaking on 'Reproductive technology
for a New Eugenics.'

"People Against Eugenics is supported by the National Assembly
Against Racism, the Disabled People's Direct Action Network, the
Jewish Socialist Group and the Genetic Engineering Network.

"Roy Webb of the Disabled People's Direct Action Network said:
`The Eugenics Society want to eliminate disabled people, black
people, lesbian and gay people and anyone else that they see as
not fitting into their view of society. We want to celebrate
difference and create a fully inclusive society.'

"David King of People Against Eugenics said: `This meeting shows
that eugenics has not gone away and its philosophy has not
changed. The Eugenics Society operates behind the scenes, trying
to orchestrate a new eugenics based on reproductive technology
and genetics. We must not go quietly into their brave new
world of designer babies.'"

Here are excerpts from a story on the protest in The Guardian,
titled "Science Friction" (September 22, 1999):

"Biotechnology is the great new hope for eugenicists, who have
long advocated `improving' the human race by controlling the
genes transmitted to future generations. New reproductive and
genetic technology, together with human cloning, has given birth
to what is being called the New Eugenics.

"Using biotechnology for social engineering is now becoming a
popular issue among leading scientists. Robert Edwards, test-
tube baby pioneer and expert on pre-implantation diagnosis, was
quoted two months ago as saying: `Soon it will be a sin of parents
to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.
We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of
our children.'

"Eugenics has long met with fierce resistance. In London last
week, a conference of the Galton InstituteŚa charity which was
formerly the Eugenics SocietyŚwas disrupted by protesters.
Prof Glayde Whitney, from the department of psychology at Florida
State University, was about to talk on `Reproduction Technology
for a New Eugenics' when a protester told the audience of
academics and others that Whitney had written the foreword to
a book by David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

For the complete Guardian story, see


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