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Race UnmaskedBiology and Race in the Twentieth Century$
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Michael Yudell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168748

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168748.001.0001

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The National Research Council and the Scientific Study of Race

The National Research Council and the Scientific Study of Race

(p.57) 4 The National Research Council and the Scientific Study of Race
Race Unmasked

Michael Yudell

J. Craig Venter

Columbia University Press

The efforts of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences concerning the scientific and sociological meanings of race in America were concluded in the final report of the Joint Commission on Racial Problems. Committee chairman Robert S. Woodworth outlined a plan to build racial orphanages to study the psychological, sociological, and biological interpretations of race in controlled environments. This chapter demonstrates how the NRC became an ideal institution for the large-scale studies that would be proposed through its committees on race. The committee's work reflects a growing agreement among scientists that genetics and biology could be used to evaluate prevailing social ideas about difference. Its research follows a eugenic paradigm for racial studies, suggesting that eugenic ideas were almost similar to mainstream studies of race.

Keywords:   National Research Council, Joint Commission on Racial Problems, Robert S. Woodworth, genetics, biology, racial studies

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