Galton Laboratory

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The Galton Laboratory was a laboratory for research into eugenics and then into human genetics based at University College London in London, England. It was originally established in 1904, and became part of UCL's biology department in 1996.

The ancestor of the Galton Laboratory was the Eugenics Record Office founded by Francis Galton in 1904. In 1907 the Office was reconstituted as the Galton Eugenics Laboratory as part of UCL and under the direction of Karl Pearson the Professor of Applied Mathematics.[1] Galton financed the Laboratory and on his death left UCL enough money to create a chair in National Eugenics which Pearson filled. The Laboratory published a series of memoirs and in 1925 Pearson created the Annals of Eugenics, which continues as the Annals of Human Genetics. The journal has always been edited at the Galton. Pearson was succeeded as Galton Professor by R. A. Fisher in 1934. The post-war Galton Professors were Lionel Penrose up to 1965, Harry Harris to 1976 and Bette Robson until 1994. J. B. S. Haldane held the Chair of Biometry here and was succeeded by C. A. B. Smith. The Galton Laboratory became part of the Department of Biology in UCL in 1996. MRC Human Biochemical Genetics Unit was established by Harris in 1962. He was Hon. Director until he went to Philadelphia in 1976, and the Unit continued under the direction of David Hopkinson until its closure in October 2000.

Galton Professors of Eugenics/Genetics[edit]

Originally established as the Galton Chair in National Eugenics, the post was renamed under Penrose to be the Galton Professor of Human Genetics.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Magnello, M. E. (1999). "The Non-correlation of Biometrics and Eugenics: Rival Forms of Laboratory Work in Karl Pearson's Career at University College London, (In two Parts)". History of Science. 37: 79–106, 125–150. doi:10.1177/007327539903700103. S2CID 220679570.
  2. ^ Pauline Mazumdar (20 December 2005). Eugenics, Human Genetics and Human Failings. Routledge. p. 253. ISBN 9781134950225.
  3. ^ "Wellcome Collection materials relating to Penrose's Appointment as Galton Professor of Eugenics at University College London (UCL)". Wellcome Collection. Retrieved December 6, 2021.

Coordinates: 51°31′23″N 0°07′59″W / 51.523°N 0.133°W / 51.523; -0.133