From The Guardian:
Report into historical links to British empire highlights scientists who advocated eugenics and racism
Tue 26 Oct 2021 10.18 EDT
An investigation into Imperial College London’s historical links to the British empire
has recommended the university remove a statue and rename buildings and lecture theatres that celebrate scientists whose work advocated eugenics and racism.
The recommendations by the university’s independent history group are intended to address racial inequalities and improve inclusivity at the Russell Group university.
The report identified a number of problematic renowned scientific figures who have been honoured with buildings, rooms and academic positions in their names.
For example, it calls for a building named after the English biologist and anthropologist Thomas Henry Huxley, lauded for determining that birds descended from dinosaurs, to be renamed due to his racist beliefs about human intelligence.
TH Huxley was “Darwin’s bulldog,” who took the lead in public in arguing for Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
They don’t quite have the nerve to cancel Darwin yet, but they are working their way up to the big guy.
The report says Huxley’s essay Emancipation – Black and White “espouses a racial hierarchy of intelligence, a belief system of ‘scientific racism’ that fed the dangerous and false ideology of eugenics; legacies of which are still felt today”.
Huxley’s grandsons included novelist Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, biologist Sir Julian Huxley, and biochemist Andrew Huxley, winner of the Nobel Prize. This of course disproves T.H.’s pseudoscientific views about heredity and intelligence.
A bust of Huxley, the first dean of the Royal College of Science from 1881-85, should also be removed from display and placed in the college archives, it adds.
Lecture rooms named after influential figures who advocated eugenics, such as WD Hamilton, a lecturer in genetics at the college from 1964 to 1977, should also be renamed.
The report also flagged up concerns over endowments from the late 19th- and early 20th-century philanthropists Alfred and Otto Beit and Julius Wernher, three of the college’s most important financial donors, due to the oppressive treatment of the largely Black migrant workers in the diamond and goldmines from which they made their fortunes.