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Eugenics in Belfast

Event Date: 17/04/2013
Event Location: Ulster Museum,
This is the second lecture of the four-part 'City of Science: Victorian and Edwardian Belfast' series organised by Queen's University Belfast (funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council). This series marks the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club's 150th anniversary in 2013.

One of the impacts of Darwinism in the late 1800s was to focus concern upon heredity, that is the passing on of genetic characteristics from parents to their offspring. Nationally this gave rise to the Eugenics Society, founded in 1907.  It was inspired initially by the scientific polymath Francis Galton, a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton linked improvement in heredity to social progress and produced a series of research papers and books aimed at convincing his contemporaries of its importance.

The rapid spread of the eugenics ideal throughout the world had several consequences. The most serious outcome was the use of eugenics to justify Nazi atrocities. In the decades before, there was a lively eugenics influence in provincial cities of the British Isles.

This talk by Greta Jones, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Ulster, will look at the role of eugenics in Belfast’s civic society in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The lecture will take place at 1pm and will aproximately last one hour. Tickets are free, but there are limited spaces. For more details on the event and how to book please visit the event page on the Ulster Museum website (opens in a new window)