Law prof to geneticists: keep racism out of science
A University of Alberta law professor is urging caution and precision in the field of genetic research to avoid a flare-up in racist attitudes.
Timothy Caulfield, the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, says biomedical scientists keen to explore genetic variation across populations run the risk of encouraging racism.
Now, I don't think, from the article, that he's saying we should fudge scientific research to accomodate the feelings of racial minorities, but he comes awfully close.
There is also tentative evidence that reading about race-linked biological research in the press can fuel discrimination. For example, last year Nobel prize-winning geneticist James Watson told a British newspaper that he believes black people are less intelligent than white people. The comment caused widespread outrage.
Things are either true or they're not. If so, acknowledge them. If not, dispute or disprove them. But don't let someone's feelings, individual or collective, dictate what is accepted as scientific fact. Let's not have the middle ages all over again - Copernicus & Galileo et al. Except this time it won't be the church. It's the "pretzels," a term I just coined to refer to those who bend over so far backwards to be politically correct that they tie themselves in knots.