Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


NEWS

UWO mourns students

Money talks at King's forum

Psych prof accused of racism

SCAPA proposes revamping of bachelor-level degrees

Toronto TAs to settle with admin

Prez candidates face off with media

Funding gets the checkered flag

New anti-panhandling legislation comes into effect

Theft remains a big problem for UPD

Briefs

Experience not going to get in Connell's way

Stuff

Psych prof accused of racism



By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Academics throughout North America are crying racism in regards to what one Western professor is calling science.

Psychology professor J. Phillipe Rushton came under fire for sending out a 108 page booklet last week, which he called a 1999 summary version of research he conducted on the science of race. The summary version was extrapolated from his book Race, Evolution and Behavior, published in 1995.

The booklet, which was sent to psychology, sociology and anthropology professors across North America in a mass mailing, explained differences in race concerning such topics as intelligence, sexual habits and personality, Rushton said.

Hermann Helmuth, a professor of anthropology at Trent University, said he was not impressed with Rushton's booklet. "It is in a way personal and political propaganda," he said. "There is no basis to his scientific research."

Chair and professor of York University's department of anthropology, Kenneth Little, agreed with Helmuth and said Rushton's research was based on a dubious statistical model which does not highlight or concern itself with social character or features of difference.

"What [Rushton] is saying, within the parameters of contemporary anthropology, is wrongheaded and could be construed by some audiences and in some communities to be offensive," Little said.

Rushton defended himself and his research by saying he was not bigoted towards any particular group. "It's not racist, it's a matter of science and recognizing variation in all groups of people," he said.

Even though Rushton was quick to point out the booklet offered no formal policy or had intentions to harm anyone, he said people are considering it racist because it concluded that some racial differences are due to genetics. "There are lots of genes involved. The genes are laid down by evolution, so ultimately the differences are due to evolution," Rushton said.

Chris Ellis, chair of Western's anthropology department, said Rushton's views in no way reflect those of the faculty. "We've always been against the position he has taken."


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