WASHINGTON: New forms of discrimination, known as neoracism, are taking hold in scientific research, spreading the belief that races exist and are different in terms of biology, behaviour and culture.
Advances in genetic sequencing are giving rise to a new era of scientific racism, despite decades of efforts to reverse attitudes used to justify the slave trade and Nazi theology, experts said Friday.
“Genome science can help us a lot in the individualisation of medical practice,” said Nina Jablonski, an anthropology professor at the Pennsylvania State University.
But she warned that science could be “misused” to propagate the belief that people inherently have different abilities based on skin colour or ethnic background.
She cited new research urging that children be identified based on their genetically predetermined educational abilities and then put in separate schools that could be used to foster different kinds of learning.
“We have heard this before and it is incredibly worrying,” she said, recalling the segregation era when blacks and whites were schooled separately and African Americans were considered inferior.