A eugenics conference held annually at University College London by an honorary professor, the London Conference on Intelligence, is dominated by a secretive group of white supremacists with neo-Nazi links, London Student can exclusively reveal.
Content note: This article contains references to racism, anti-Semitism and child abuse.
The conference has taken place at UCL four times since its inception in 2014, and now even boasts its own YouTube channel bearing the UCL logo.
UCL have told London Student that they are investigating the conference. A spokesperson said: “We are an institution that is committed to free speech but also to combatting racism and sexism in all forms.”
UCL professor David Colquhoun expressed disbelief that the university would host such “pseudoscience” and stated that the organiser, Professor James Thompson, “clearly doesn’t understand genetics.”
“The actual genetic difference between humans, with respect to race or sex, is absolutely miniscule compared to what they have in common,” he told London Student.
Among the speakers and attendees over the last four years are a self-taught geneticist who argues in favour of child rape, multiple white supremacists, and ex-board member of the Office for Students Toby Young.
A central figure in the London Conference on Intelligence (LCI) is the white nationalist, extremist Richard Lynn, who has called for the “phasing out” of the “populations of incompetent cultures.” Lynn, who is President of the Ulster Institute for Social Research (UISR), spoke at the conference 2015 and 2016, along with four of the six members of the UISR’s Academic Advisory Council.
Lynn’s UISR runs the journal Mankind Quarterly, whose founders include a leading member of Mussolini’s eugenics taskforce, and whose board once boasted Nazi Joseph Mengele’s personal mentor.
Six members of the current board, including editor-in-chief Gerhard Meisenberg, spoke at both the 2015 and 2016 conferences, while a further 16 LCI speakers have written for the journal in recent years. In total, 82% of those who spoke at both 2015 and 2016 conferences are directly associated with either UISR or Mankind Quarterly.
Beneficiaries of the fund include a magazine devoted to a “penetrating inquiry into every aspect of the Jewish Question,” and Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, whose conferences have hosted prominent far-right figures Richard Spencer (an white supremancist who gained prominence after Trump’s election), Nick Griffin (ex-leader of the British National Party), and David Duke (another white supremacist, and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan).
Helmuth Nyborg, a member of the UISR Academic Advisory Council, gave a lecture at last year’s American Renaissance conference which argued that Denmark’s gene pool would suffer from immigration from the Middle East. Nyborg spoke at the LCI in both 2015 and 2016. He has written numerous articles for Mankind Quarterly as well as a book for the UISR memorializing the former head of the Pioneer Fund, white nationalist J. P. Rushton.
James Thompson, the honorary UCL academic who acts as the host of the conference, is a member of the UISR Academic Advisory Council. His political leanings are betrayed by his public Twitter account, where he follows prominent white supremacists including Richard Spencer (who follows him back), Virginia Dare, American Renaissance, Brett Stevens, the Traditional Britain Group, Charles Murray and Jared Taylor.
Thompson is a frequent contributor to the Unz Review, which has been described as “a mix of far-right and far-left anti-Semitic crackpottery,” and features articles such as ‘America’s Jews are Driving America’s Wars’ and ‘What to do with Latinos?’. His own articles include frequent defences of the idea that women are innately less intelligent than men (1, 2, 3, and 4), and an analysis of the racial wage gap which concludes that “some ethnicities contribute relatively little,” namely “blacks.”
Writer and geneticist Adam Rutherford told London Student that, based on the titles and abstracts, some of the views presented were a “pseudoscientific front for bog-standard, old-school racism”.
“As soon as you begin to speak about black people and IQ you have a problem, because genetically-speaking ‘black people’ aren’t one homogenous group,” Rutherford said. “Any two people of recent African descent are likely to be more genetically distinct from each other than either of them is to anyone else in the world.”
Another major organiser of the LCI is Emil Kirkegaard, who has attended all four conferences and even designed the website. Although he refers to himself as a “polymath” and Thompson describes him as a “very bright young guy”, Kirkegaard is not an academic. His highest qualification is a Bachelor’s in linguistics.
Having dropped out of his Masters degree, instead preferring to be “self-taught in various subjects”, Kirkegaard now runs OpenPsych, a platform for non-peer reviewed psychology papers, along with Davide Piffer of Mankind Quarterly. Piffer is a fellow LCI-speaker, and was praised by Richard Lynn as having done “brilliant work identifying the genes responsible for race differences in intelligence.”
Authors on OpenPsych include Kevin MacDonald, described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre as “the neo-Nazi movement’s favourite academic”, who praised Anders Breivik as a “serious political thinker with a great many insights and some good practical ideas on strategy.”
John Fuerst, a fellow of the UISR, spoke at LCI 2015 and 2016, and frequently collaborates with Kirkegaard on OpenPsych. As well as writing various blogs, which he describes as “race realist”, , he also frequently posts anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on Facebook. When questioned about his popularity on the neo-Nazi forum Stormfront, he stated that he had “no beef against…“Neo-Nazis”.”
Kirkegaard’s own personal blog is home to topics such as ‘Is miscegenation bad for your kids?’ and how one could empirically verify a Jewish conspiracy. His Facebook features alt-right ‘promotional videos’ and once featured a friend’s Nazi salute with the caption ‘There will be an heir to the Führer.’
By far the most disturbing of part of Kirkegaard’s internet presence, however, is a blog-post in which he justifies child rape. He states that a ‘compromise’ with paedophiles could be:
“having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine. If they dont notice it is difficult to see how they cud be harmed, even if it is rape. One must distinguish between rape becus the other was disconsenting (wanting to not have sex), and rape becus the other is not consenting, but not disconsenting either.”
He qualifies this with a note that “bodily harm” would undermine this justification, and especially “with small children since their bodily openings are not large enuf [sic] for a regular sized male penis. To avoid this one shud [sic] not penetrate.”
Kirkegaard’s reputation as a scientific advocate for neo-Nazism was increased last April when he appeared on Tara McCarthy’s ‘Reality Calls’ to discuss “the future of eugenics.” McCarthy was banned from YouTube for alleging a Jewish conspiracy to commit “white genocide”, supports deporting naturalized citizens and “killing them if they resist”, and said that she hopes “zero” migrants crossing the Mediterranean “make it alive”.
Kirkegaard is not the only LCI speaker to feature on McCarthy’s show. Adam Perkins of King’s College London appeared on the show to discuss his controversial book, ‘The Welfare Trait’. He provoked uproar last year when he shared images of data from one of Kirkegaard’s papers on immigrant crime rates, with the caption “Trump’s Muslim ban makes sense in human capital terms”.
“This is so old-school as to be laughable,” Dr Rutherford said of the views discussed at the LCI. While the views may simply be “bad science”, according to Rutherford, they play into UCL’s “deep and rich history of scientific racism”.
He explained: “Francis Galton, the brilliant but overtly racist UCL academic, may have given the world many valuable ideas, but also created eugenics as a pseudoscientific idea. UCL’s Galton chair, named in his honour, was first occupied by Karl Pearson, another overt racist.”
UCL’s Prevent Officer and those in charge of room bookings did not reply to London Student’s request for comment.