Race Science: Then & Now

Phrenology sketch of skull, 1807 Image credit: Countway Library

Race Science’s Legacy (start time: 0.57): We like to think of science as neutral, beyond politics. But of course it isn’t. After all, science is a product of the political landscape in which it arises. Despite the fact that decades ago the United Nations declared that race has no biological basis, science has continued to be co-opted to justify racial inequality–namely, the intellectual superiority of whites. Recently scientists have been reckoning with the damaging legacy of race science. In this week’s show host Susan Moran interviews two journalists: Angela Saini, a science journalist and author of several books, including Superior: The Return of Race Science; and Ashley Smart, senior editor of Undark magazine, and associate director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. See Undark’s Long Division Project, a series of articles exploring the persistence of race science.

Host & Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Shannon Young
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Listen to the show here: