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13th October, 2022

Pathologising Race


Event Details

13th October, 2022
19:00 -

Olaudah Equiano Annual Lecture on Race Justice with Angela Saini

Racial categories may feel tangible, but as we know from history, anthropology and genetics, they are no more rooted in biology than any other social construct. Yet scientific myths about human difference live on in disturbing ways, particularly in medicine, as shown by the lazy speculation that surrounded discussion of racial disparities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even well-intentioned scientists inappropriately invoke these false ideas and perpetuate biological essentialism. Angela Saini argues that by interrogating the use of race in science, and incorporating the social sciences and humanities into teaching and research, perhaps science can finally move beyond the myth of race. More fundamentally, she asks, whether science might imagine a way to move beyond the need to categorise humans at all and understand people as complex individuals.

Speaker bio: Angela Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster. She presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into fourteen languages. Angela has a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford and has been a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Humboldt Foundation. In 2020 she was named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers by Prospect magazine. Her next book, The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule, will be published in spring 2023.

This event is presented by ARU’s Faculty of Science and Engineering Race Equality Committee as part of Black History Month.

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