What inspired the welfare state?

Run time: 11.00 – 12.00 

The concept of eugenics has been used in history to control and promote certain genetic characteristics of populations of people. This concept has been harmful and dangerous to many communities at various points in time, including Black, Jewish, LGBTQ+ and Disabled people. 

This way of thinking is now considered extremely immoral, but it's theory has not been forgotten with links being made to the work of economists and politicians William Beveridge and Richard Titmuss as recently as the 1940s and 1950s. 

Join Inderbir Bhullar, Curator at the London School of Economics Library, who will show us how the principles of eugenics could have shaped early thinking of the welfare state in Britain.

Surely a state-run, universal social safety net, shielding all rungs of society from the debilitating impact of poverty or ill health, is in direct conflict with eugenics? Well, find out why not in this Presidential Address for History of Science. 

Please note that this event will include discussion of racism, ableism and eugenics and will use historical examples such as the Holocaust.

For access information and directions to this venue, and all British Science Festival venues, please click this link https://britishsciencefestival.org/british-science-festival-2023-venues

9 September 2023 - 11:00
Exeter Phoenix - Studio 74, Exeter City Centre

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