The Return of Race Science

eBook - 2019
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"A powerful look at the non-scientific history of "race science," and the assumptions, prejudices, and incentives that have allowed it to reemerge in contemporary science Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a worldwide network of unrepentant eugenicists quietly founded journals and funded research, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Hernstein's and Charles Murray's 1994 title, The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races. If the vast majority of scientists and scholars disavowed these ideas, and considered race a social construct, it was still an idea that managed to somehow make its way into the research into the human genome that began in earnest in the mid-1990s and continues today. Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Saini shows us how, again and again, science is retrofitted to accommodate race. Even as our understanding of highly complex traits like intelligence, and the complicated effect of environmental influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between "races"--to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores or to justify cultural assumptions--stubbornly persists. At a time when racialized nationalisms are a resurgent threat throughout the world, Superior is a powerful reminder that biologically, we are all far more alike than different"--
"In Superior award-winning science writer Angela Saini explores the concept of race, past and present. She examines the dark roots of race research and how race has again crept gently back into science and medicine. And she investigates the people who use this research for their own political purposes, including white supremacists. They believe that populations are born different, in character and intellectually, and that this defines the success or failure of nations. It is a worldwide network of eugenicists with their own journals journals and sources of funding, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Hernstein's and Charles Murray's 1994 title, The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races. Taking us from Darwin through the civil rights movement to modern-day ancestry testing, Saini examines how deeply our present is influenced by our past, and the role that politics has so often had to play in our understanding of race. Superior is a powerful, rigorous, much needed examination of the insidious history and damaging consequences of race science and the unfortunate reasons behind its apparent recent resurgence across the globe"--
Publisher: Boston :, Beacon Press,, 2019.
ISBN: 9780807076941
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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Mar 02, 2020

"Research" into the differences between races has been going on for decades, even centuries. This book provides a good précis of the history. Several think tanks are mentioned, but one that keeps coming up in the book is the Pioneer Fund, which has financed research of some of the most notorious professors - not the least of which is Phillippe Rushton. When you read this you'll understand the thinking of the alt-right and its exponents, and why it poses a threat not just to race relations but to democracy itself.

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