UCSF Program for Historical Reconciliation

At the instruction of the office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, in 2021 the program for Historical Reconciliation was established to investigate and report on institutional history that we know contradicts UCSF community and ethical values. The research unit is directed by medical history faculty in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and staff in UCSF's Archives and Special Collections.

The Program conducts research into institutional legacies or any claims of past unethical conduct relating to biomedical and clinical research, the University's relationship to our community and industry, and material artifacts that the University holds.

Our definition of reconciliation encompasses truth-telling, sharing of historical narratives, and facilitates dialogue to transform relations and rebuild trust among groups that were harmed. The goals of the Program include providing: accessible historical documentation, truthful accounts of our institutional history, public forums, teaching materials for lessons in bioethical conduct, and opportunities for our community to contribute recommendations for further actions towards reconciliation. Specific recommendations and outcomes are offered case by case.

The Program is not a disciplinary unit, nor do we report to academic affairs. However, the research and primary sources are made public and our reports and recommendations are submitted to the Chancellor's office.

Current Investigations

January 2022: Clinical experiments at California prisons that occurred under the direction of UCSF faculty in dermatology.

Contact Information

If you have a notice of concerns about past research or clinical activity, institutional legacies reflected in artwork or campus names, or other aspects of UCSF's history, please submit them here.

Program Directors

Advisory Board