Control: the dark history and troubling present of eugenics

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr 4 February, 2022

The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS / on-line

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General Information

Time: 7.00pm to 8.30pm

Throughout history, people have sought to improve themselves, and society, by eliminating disease. They want to enhance desirable qualities in their children or control populations with rules about who can procreate and who can live.

Join Adam Rutherford as he discusses how new techniques in genetics and gene editing prompt the urgently needed discussions about improving the ‘quality’ of the population. And how the ideas underlying eugenics are not merely historical.

In this talk, Adam explores the science, history and future of eugenics, and the practice of population control by selective procreation.

Doors to the theatre will open at 6.30pm. The event will begin at 7.00pm.

The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.


Dr Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness.

He has written and presented many award-winning series and programmes for the BBC, including the flagship weekly Radio 4 programme ‘Inside Science’ and ‘The curious cases of Rutherford & Fry’ with Dr Hannah Fry.

He is the author ‘Creation’, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Prize, ‘A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived’, ‘The Book of Humans’ the Sunday Times bestselling ‘How to Argue with  a Racist’  and the co-author of ‘Rutherford and Fry’s Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything (Abridged)’.

Adam’s latest book, ‘Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics‘ is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.