During the week of October 8 - October 14, 2017, we will feature scholarly texts, articles, essays, and critical commentary related to the concept of (un)scientific racism. The term “scientific racism” was coined to refer to the use of pseudo science approaches, or the misuse of scientific research, to advance or reinforce beliefs in biological, inherent racial categories and hierarchies of superior and inferior races, in order to explain social group differences in areas such as intelligence, education, health, violence, and wealth.
There has been consensus in international communities of expert researchers and scholars across disciplines (e.g., geneticists, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists), since at least the 1950s that biological race differences are not a reality but a myth (Sussman, 2014). Despite this scientific consensus, notions of “inherent” race differences continue to receive attention and support in social, educational, and political contexts.
The application of flawed scientific scholarship around race differences has important implications for society, including for the experiences and life chances of communities of color. For instance, views about the biological nature of race historically have been used to justify social policies that subordinated communities of color and have been used in medical research and inhumane applications related to medical treatment. And these beliefs systems undergird both conscious and unconscious biases that affect policies, practices, and interpersonal interactions in everyday settings such as schools, workplaces, and communities. Our series seeks to bring awareness through sharing examples of well-grounded scholarship that interrogates the history and contemporary context of (un)scientific racism as well as theoretically and empirically grounded research on the construct of race. This includes scholarly evidence that debunks outdated (and empirically unsupported) views of “inherent” race differences.
Each day, we will spotlight different scholarship and publications. Posts will be featured through NCID director’s Twitter account @TabbyeChavous and the NCID Facebook page. We invite you to share information, perspectives, and resources as well! #UnScientificRacism