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Science Must Not Be Used to Foster White Supremacy – Scientific American

It’s scientists’ responsibility to reveal the inherent biases of studies used to disparage Black people and other groups

By Janet D. Stemwedel, May 24, 2022

A Buffalo resident covers his face with his hands near a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Thursday, May 19, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. The fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials. Credit: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The white supremacist who drove 200 miles to a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket and opened fire, killing 10 people, had posted a screed.

Most of the people he killed were Black. The document’s 180 pages cited not only racist conspiracy theories, but also scientific research on behavioral genetics. The research focused on finding heritable differences in IQ and propensity to violence between racial groups.

There’s no reason to believe, on the basis of his screed, that the Buffalo shooter understood, or even read, the scientific papers. It’s more likely that he collected them, like the racist tropes he reproduced in the document, from message boards and social media channels whose users latch on to titles that seem to promise scientific support for white supremacy.

Scientists who research genetic bases for complex behavioral traits using genome-wide association studies have urged care in the conclusions drawn from population means, and especially in how their scientific results are communicated to general audiences.

But there is compelling evidence that research on the evolution of sociobehavioral traits finds an eager audience among white nationalists.

Source: Science Must Not Be Used to Foster White Supremacy – Scientific American