Human Betterment Foundation (HBF), one of the most prominent eugenics groups of its time, begun in Pasadena in the same decade that Caltech transformed from a sleepy small-town technical school into a science and engineering powerhouse. ...I am not going to defend forced sterilization, but what does that have to do with George Floyd, affirmative action quotas, and a student identifying as socialist/multiracial/Indian/disabled/female?
In June 2020, shortly after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, student groups including the Socialists of Caltech, a group to which Panangaden belongs, put the spotlight on Caltech’s most famous former president — Nobel-prizewinning physicist Robert Millikan — and his involvement with the Human Betterment Foundation as a trustee. ...
At Caltech, events progressed quickly last year. The institute assigned a committee to investigate its links to eugenics advocacy. And after a months-long process that sometimes pitted students against administrators, leaders decided in January to remove Millikan’s name and several others from prominence on campus. This week, they announced some of the names that will replace them.
It’s a meaningful move for Panangaden, who identifies as multiracial and disabled. “I find it important to rename the buildings just because I don’t want to have that constant reminder that the people who built this institution didn’t want me to be there, and didn’t even want me to exist.”
But she says it would be a hollow effort without further steps to address the institution’s diversity gaps.
Perhaps in another century, forced sterilization will be seen as morally similar to vaccination mandates or child support. So will today's scientists be eventually canceled if they advocated vax mandates?
Millikan was a great physicist, and a CalTech pioneer. He had no power to force any medical procedure on anyone. If he expressed some opinions about some proposed laws, why should anyone care now?
The worse accusation against Millikan is that he allowed his name on this pamphlet. The opinions expressed appear to be sincere policy suggestions to make the world better for everyone. It says:
There can be no question that a very large portion of feeblemindedness is due to inheritance. The same is tru of mental diseaseThis is true, but people do not like to admit it. I think the critics of this pamphlet ought to explain exactly where is goes wrong. I have my own opinions, but I suspect that the leftist critics have other issues, and would rather not spell them out.
This weirdo students dig this stuff up as an excuse to make childish demands.