The damaging outcomes of racist ideologies continue to influence all aspects of society. This in spite of the fact that at their core these ideologies rely on a fundamentally false assumption: that biologically there are different races among humans. The source of this fallacy is pseudoscience and historical prejudice, and yet even scientists and medical professionals continue to apply misconceptions about biological race when performing research or practicing medicine. Scientific educators are in a unique position to dismantle the central damaging assumption, and here we provide a straightforward approach that educators can employ for engaging in this conversation. It is organized around four questions that build sequentially and integrate the latest science with a history of the topic: How did the myth of biological subcategories of humans become ingrained as a scientific concept? How has scientists’ approach to taxonomy changed since Linnaeus’s first human classifications? What does biology now tell us about variation within the human species? Why is it critical to debunk this myth? We provide answers with which scientific educators can re-center the conversation around historical and scientific facts, while highlighting how misapplication of the evidence harms the integrity of science as a field.
Why Biologists & Biology Teachers Are Uniquely Qualified to Discuss the Issue of Biological Race
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Marcia L. O’Connell, Zachariah I. Grochau-Wright, Christopher T. Fisher; Why Biologists & Biology Teachers Are Uniquely Qualified to Discuss the Issue of Biological Race. The American Biology Teacher 1 December 2022; 84 (9): 525–528. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2022.84.9.525
Download citation file: