by Professor William H. Tucker (Author)
Science first turned its attention to the concept of race in 1735, when the biological taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus grouped human beings into four varieties red, yellow, white, and black, using an imaginary color concept for human beings.
Unlike other critiques of the scientific literature on racial difference, "The Science and Politics of Racial Research" argues that there has been no scientific purpose or value to the study of innate differences in ability between groups. William Tucker shows how, for more than a century, scientific investigations of supposedly innate differences in ability between races have been used to rationalize social and political inequality as the unavoidable consequence of natural differences.
Tucker structures his work chronologically, with each chapter describing how research on genetic difference was used in a particular era to support a particular political agenda. He begins with the use of science to support slavery in the mid-nineteenth century and ends with the effects of Jensenism in the 1970s. Highlights include one chapter describing a little-known but concerted attempt by a group of scientists to overturn the Brown v. Board of Education decision on the basis of "expert testimony" about racial differences, and another that presents a review of the eugenics movement in the twentieth century. The author also considers how to balance the rights and responsibilities of scientists, concluding that one generally neglected method is to strengthen the rights of research subjects.
"An antidote to that much-publicized book, The Bell Curve.. . . Take a couple chapters and call Jesse Helms in the morning."
- National Catholic Reporter
"William Tucker's timely book refutes the argument."
- Maya Angelou
"A splendid book, indeed, the best of many admirable books. . . . Will do a great deal of good in the world."
- Ashley Montagu
"A marvelous book!"
- Carl T. Rowan
"Tucker's well-researched discussions show the intensity of the ideological struggles to prove racial differences in ability and IQ, and they contextualize recent books, such as Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's The Bell Curve, that continue this scientific racism."
- J. R. Feagin, Choice
"Anybody reading The Bell Curve should read The Science and Politics of Racial Research."
- George Armelagos, Emory University
"Even scholars well-versed in the study of race will be shocked at Tucker's disclosure of the extent to which research on race and psychology has been motivated by political considerations in the U.S. and Europe."
- Lewis H. Killian, author of Black and White: Reflections of a White Southern Sociologist
William H. Tucker is a professor of psychology at Rutgers University and the author of several books critical of race science. Professor Tucker received his bachelor's degree from Bates College in 1967, and his master's and doctorate from Princeton University. He joined the faculty at Rutgers University in 1970 and has been there since.
Tucker was a Psychometric Fellow for three years at Princeton, a position subsidized by Educational Testing Service. The majority of Tucker's scholarship has been about psychometrics, not in it. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism. He has written critical commentaries on several hereditarian psychologists known for their controversial work on race and intelligence. He has received awards for his research on Cyril Burt and the Pioneer Fund.
William H. Tucker's research interests concern the use, or more properly the misuse of social science to support oppressive social policies, especially in the area of race. He seeks to explore how scientists in general, and psychologists in particular, have become involved with such issues and what effect their participation has produced.