Ending "RACEISM": Why Defeating Racism Requires the Repudiation of Race – the Civic Role of Science and Scientists

Byers Auditorium - Genentech Hall

photo of Carlos HoytEnding RACEISM: Why Defeating Racism
Requires the Repudiation of Race
The Civic Role of Science and Scientists
a presentation by Dr. Carlos Hoyt, PhD

Talk at 4 p.m., reception to follow. Everyone in the campus community is welcome! No RSVP required.

About the talk:

The power and persuasiveness of science in the discourse on race has swung from infamous initial validation of racial differences to present day efforts to disabuse scientists of racialized conceptualizations of human beings. The burgeoning scientific literature advocating the relinquishment of race as a valid lens through which to understand and navigate human population differences, however, consistently stops at the gates of the domain of science.  Geneticists, biologists, and medical doctors are increasingly vocal about the lack of utility and actual harm that results from employing race as a proxy for meaningfully distinct human subgroups – but only within the bounds of their professional realms, not in society in general.

Beyond the territory of their respective practices, scientists are reluctant to challenge the deployment of race, usually based on the perceived need to address racism by acknowledging the power and persistence of the social construct of race. This stance represents a misguided deference to a pernicious cognitive error that science originally empowered. It is time for science to be thoroughgoing in its recognition of the illegitimacy of race by taking a leading role in shifting society away from the racial worldview.

About the speaker:

Dr. Hoyt is the author of The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race (Oxford University Press, 2016) and an assistant professor of social work at Wheelock College in Boston. A copy of Hoyt's book will be given to 30 attendees!