Viewpoint: NPR fumbles analysis of scientific racism, misunderstands population genetics


NPR’s science blog Cosmos & Culture has a post up about a new book on scientific racism and population genetics,…in which biological anthropologist Barbara King reviews the new book Is Science Racist by anthropologist Jonathan Marks…[It] starts off with a premise that took me aback:

Science is racist when it permits scientists who advance racist ideas to exist and to thrive institutionally.” This is a strong set of claims, and Marks uses numerous examples to support them. For example, a 2014 book by science writer Nicholas Wade used genes and race to explain…”why African-Americans are allegedly more violent than whites….

Huh. So the first example of racist science is Nicholas Wade, who is … not actually a scientist. And whose 2014 book inspired a panel of 139 evolutionary geneticists…to sign a letter to the New York Times saying that Wade was wrong.

The history of racism in the U.S. and around the world makes it vital to provide careful context for every study of human genetics…Biology does have a mixed record on providing that context…But evolutionary geneticists are, in fact, wrestling with this history

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: NPR’s muddled take on scientific racism and direct-to-consumer genetics