You’ve got the wrong guy

More on the Huxley issue:

Imperial College must not “disown” one of its founding fathers, Thomas Huxley, eminent scientists have warned as they urged the university not to remove his bust or rename a building named after him.

In a letter to The Telegraph, a group of 39 leading scientists – including 17 from Imperial College – are imploring Imperial College not to turn their back on him.

“Huxley was an ardent abolitionist who fought the virulent pro-slavery scientific racism of his day and publicly welcomed the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865,” they say.

“From childhood poverty, Huxley rose on merit to become President of the Royal Society and Privy Counsellor. ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’, he fought for the theory of evolution, and first demonstrated our evolutionary descent from an ape-like ancestor.”

The letter acknowledges that early in his career he believed in a hierarchy of races but added that “as he aged he became sceptical of racial stereotypes”.

It goes on to note that Huxley “reformed London’s schools, was a principal of a working men’s college, wrote volumes of journalism, gave lectures for working people and opened his classes to women”.

The letter says: “He was instrumental in founding the Royal College of Science, later Imperial College, the very institution that now seeks to disown him.”

Statues of men who got rich off the slave trade are one thing, and Huxley is quite another.

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