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Superior: The Return of Race Science

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An astute and timely examination of the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a/> An astute and timely examination of the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a worldwide network of unrepentant eugenicists quietly founded journals and funded research, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Hernstein's and Charles Murray's 1994 title, The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races. If the vast majority of scientists and scholars disavowed these ideas, and considered race a social construct, it was still an idea that managed to somehow make its way into the research into the human genome that began in earnest in the mid-1990s and continues today. Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Saini shows us how, again and again, science is retrofitted to accommodate race. Even as our understanding of highly complex traits like intelligence, and the complicated effect of environmental influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between "races"--to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores or to justify cultural assumptions--stubbornly persists. At a time when racialized nationalisms are a resurgent threat throughout the world, Superior is a powerful reminder that biologically, we are all far more alike than different.


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An astute and timely examination of the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a/> An astute and timely examination of the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in WWII, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a worldwide network of unrepentant eugenicists quietly founded journals and funded research, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Hernstein's and Charles Murray's 1994 title, The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races. If the vast majority of scientists and scholars disavowed these ideas, and considered race a social construct, it was still an idea that managed to somehow make its way into the research into the human genome that began in earnest in the mid-1990s and continues today. Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Saini shows us how, again and again, science is retrofitted to accommodate race. Even as our understanding of highly complex traits like intelligence, and the complicated effect of environmental influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between "races"--to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores or to justify cultural assumptions--stubbornly persists. At a time when racialized nationalisms are a resurgent threat throughout the world, Superior is a powerful reminder that biologically, we are all far more alike than different.

30 review for Superior: The Return of Race Science

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    This is a journalistic account of 'race science' - where both terms 'race' and 'science' are scrutinised with a sharp eye. Saini is quite up-front with her own stance: that there's no genetic or biological support for racial difference beyond the merest superficialities such as skin pigmentation. Driven by the re-emergence of the most pernicious ideologies that many of us thought had been exposed for what they are by the Holocaust and other race-based genocides of the C20th, this takes an intere This is a journalistic account of 'race science' - where both terms 'race' and 'science' are scrutinised with a sharp eye. Saini is quite up-front with her own stance: that there's no genetic or biological support for racial difference beyond the merest superficialities such as skin pigmentation. Driven by the re-emergence of the most pernicious ideologies that many of us thought had been exposed for what they are by the Holocaust and other race-based genocides of the C20th, this takes an interesting look at the history of 'race science' and the role it still plays in academic research today, however contested and controversial. Saini is a relaxed writer, always accessible and with a sense of humour that is light but with just the right level of suppressed snarkiness: witness the anecdote of the geneticist who proclaims that he's discovered the 'chop-stick using gene' in Chinese people! Well, we laugh - but, of course, it's not much of a jump to go from 'Chinese people are biologically pre-determined to use chopsticks' to insidious and horrific claims about racialised intelligence, racial hierarchies, justifications for slavery, the creation of race-based underclasses and we're soon back at those looming gas ovens of Auschwitz. What is most dispiriting about this book is the extent to which highly-educated scientists at the heart of the academe in both Europe and the US can cling to old views of racialised genetic predermination and 'race fate' *in the face of an almost complete lack of biological evidence for racial difference in humans*. It's an important point, of course, but one which perhaps gets slightly repetitive in this book. But, perhaps, it needs to. There are some horribly disconcerting moments such as when we realise that Maria Stopes favoured eugenics to stop the 'wrong' kind of people from giving birth in favour of so-called 'racial progress'; or that the legendary James Watson (of Crick and Watson fame) was openly racist and sexist and believed that cultural qualities such as Jewish intelligence, in the example given, is genetically pre-determined. It's impossible not to snigger at some of the desperate manoeuvers of 'race scientists': in the 1920s, when Greeks, Italians and other southern Europeans were being stigmatised as having sub-par intelligence, one 'scientist' claimed that artists such as Dante, Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo and da Vinci were clearly 'Nordic' - as, apparently, was Jesus! A high point, too, is Saini's digging behind the story from 2018 when the mummy of so-called 'Cheddar Man' was discovered and offered the opportunity to profile an ancient Briton - to the horror of many, not least the UK right-wing press, Cheddar Man turns out to have been black, not white. Which, considering the fact that humans all migrated out of Africa, is hardly surprising. (Light or white skin is an evolutionary development as ancient humans who migrated to less sunny northern Europe needed to maximise absorption of Vitamin D from the sun). So much, then, for all the Brexit-associated nostalgia for a mythic (white) England. And, of course, that's both the point of the book and why it's so important: this isn't a light-hearted review of old, done-and-dusted attitudes, this is about *now*: it's about Brexit and Trump, it's about #blacklivesmatter, it's about the alt-right appropriating and mis-using science, it's about respected scientists and scientific institutions themselves (though a marginal number, it must be stressed) still trying to find the elusive biological basis for race and differentiation - and all that follows along with it. Many thanks to HarperCollins, 4th Estate for an ARC via NetGalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    'There is a kind of will to truth. We will make this be the truth if we try hard enough'- Subir Sinha. Oh how this resonates in our social media dominated/'fake news' society. Sinha's quote refers particularly to religious extremists but effectively demonstrates the kind of sentiment that underlies the 'science' and ways of thinking that the book works to demolish. That backwards system which starts with ideology and then looks for evidence to support it. Race is not about genetics/ biologica 'There is a kind of will to truth. We will make this be the truth if we try hard enough'- Subir Sinha. Oh how this resonates in our social media dominated/'fake news' society. Sinha's quote refers particularly to religious extremists but effectively demonstrates the kind of sentiment that underlies the 'science' and ways of thinking that the book works to demolish. That backwards system which starts with ideology and then looks for evidence to support it. Race is not about genetics/ biological difference, it is a social, cultural, political construct. It was created to separate, subordinate, invalidate certain types of people, a way of perpetuating and bolstering the supposed superiority of the great white male. It's the kind of thing that feels like part of the past, and it definitely should be, but Angela Saini shows that not only it it still here, it never went away. Even the Holocaust was not enough to demonstrate the dangers inherent in such ideology, simply pushing those who held these types of views out of the mainstream. For a while at least. Because now they're back and at the forefront of populist politics- given airtime, given applause, given power. And that's why books like this are so essential, to hold people and ideas up to scrutiny, to start conversations, to attack the fundamental misunderstandings (deliberate or otherwise) about human variation. Because feelings of superiority are how we end up arguing that migrant children in border camps don't really need soap or blankets or safety, it's how the fear of difference and the 'other' leads to Trump and Brexit, how 'knowing' that certain ethnic groups just aren't as clever or industrious means that they're a lost cause, worthless, a burden. It's always useful to blame those being crushed by inequality for their own problems. If they deserve it, there's nothing we can do, right? If nothing else, this book is an essential reminder about evaluating the quality of the information you access, share, and trust. Where does it come from? Who paid for it? What are they trying to sell you? Who benefits? What Saini's book does is present the ways in which the ideologies behind race science have altered or even determined its conclusions. And if you want to apply the same fact checking to her work, her sources are right there at the back. ARC via Netgalley

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    A good overview of the history of race "science." I studied a lot of the earlier documents for my own research and they just sounded like such a ridiculous and desperate attempt to justify racial hierarchies. Unfortunately, this garbage science is coming back in the form of IQ testing and DNA "science." The best part of this book was when she covered David Reich's research--I would suggest going straight to the source if you're interested. His book "Who we are and how we got here" is excellent.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    It was always going to be difficult to follow Angela Saini's hugely popular Inferior, but with Superior she has pulled it off, not just in the content but by upping the quality of the writing to a whole new level. Where Inferior looked at the misuse of science in supporting sexism (and the existence of sexism in science), Superior examines the way that racism has been given a totally unfounded pseudo-scientific basis in the past - and how, remarkably, despite absolute evidence to the contrary, t It was always going to be difficult to follow Angela Saini's hugely popular Inferior, but with Superior she has pulled it off, not just in the content but by upping the quality of the writing to a whole new level. Where Inferior looked at the misuse of science in supporting sexism (and the existence of sexism in science), Superior examines the way that racism has been given a totally unfounded pseudo-scientific basis in the past - and how, remarkably, despite absolute evidence to the contrary, this still turns up today. At the heart of the book is the scientific fact that 'race' simply does not exist biologically - it is nothing more than an outdated social label. As Saini points out, there are far larger genetic variations within a so-called race than there are between individuals supposedly of different races. She shows how, pre-genetics, racial prejudice was given a pseudo-scientific veneer by dreaming up fictitious physical differences over and above the tiny distinctions of appearance - and how this has been continued and transformed with genetics to draw conclusions that go against the fundamental proviso of science - correlation is not causality. Saini demonstrates vividly how, for example, socio-economic or cultural causes of differences in capability, and even medical response to drugs, have been repeatedly ascribed to non-existent biological racial differences. Along the way we come across the horrendous race-based acts of the past - from slavery to the Nazi atrocities - which have been justified by fictitious assumptions about the implications of race. But Saini makes clear that this is not just a historical problem. One of the excellent aspects of the book is the way that she brings in interviews and personal experience, so, for example, there is a fascinating section on discrimination on the basis of caste in India, and attempts to justify this on a genetic basis. Similarly, she repeatedly shows how white supremacists misuse information to draw incorrect and vile conclusions. There are fascinating interviews with scientists whose work strays into misuse of evidence to imply something that the data simply does not support. With one exception of Robert Plomin, whose work seems far more solid than the rest, and can only be used to support racism by deliberately misunderstanding it, a lot of this work seems to have been poorly executed or involves drawing inappropriate conclusions. A considerable amount of this nonsense involves IQ testing - yet it has been shown that all IQ tests do is demonstrate an ability to do well at IQ tests, an ability that can be learned - so provides no useable evidence. The coverage might have easily been extended to cover other discrimination on perceived differences, but I can see the benefit of keeping the focus on race. For me, the only disappointing thing is that Saini shies away from the logical conclusion of her observations. Having categorically shown that race does not exist, it's ridiculous that we still classify people this way. As the author acknowledges, we need some means of categorisation to fight prejudice - but surely it should be based on real markers such as socio-economic means and culture - to continue to do so by race having established that race doesn't exist seems oddly incongruous, and makes it more difficult to counter racists by giving weight to the labels they use. Overall, a brilliant book, highly readable, which, if there were any justice, would put a final nail in the coffin of racism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Having grown up as part of an ethnic minority group in London during the 1980s and 90s, Angela Saini has first-hand experience of the racism which was rife during these decades. Unfortunately, after being heavily discredited, race science has slowly and insidiously crept back into public discourse over the past 50-70 years. During her formative years, the murder of Stephen Lawrence in close proximity to her childhood home had a big impact on her and what really stuck in her mind was the differen Having grown up as part of an ethnic minority group in London during the 1980s and 90s, Angela Saini has first-hand experience of the racism which was rife during these decades. Unfortunately, after being heavily discredited, race science has slowly and insidiously crept back into public discourse over the past 50-70 years. During her formative years, the murder of Stephen Lawrence in close proximity to her childhood home had a big impact on her and what really stuck in her mind was the difference between someone white being murdered and a black individual; it was obvious that fewer resources and time were dedicated to an ethnic minority individual to those who were white. But was this due to scientific or societal issues? This childhood experience precipitated Saini's intense interest in the subject of race, racial bias and matters surrounding it, and this is an essential and exceptional work which rebuts the idea of racism as a biological issue rather than a social one. Not only does she debunk the lie that inequality is to do with genetics but she goes a long way to proving that it has everything to do with political power. It is a fascinating and beautifully written piece which has clearly been extensively researched. It is a masterfully written, topical piece by one of the most trusted science writers of our time and should be on the reading lists of anyone interested in the history and evolution of this subject from the beginning of time up to present day. Although it is frequently referred to as race science, I think the most appropriate and fitting terminology is racist science. Many thanks to Fourth Estate for an ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peter Mcloughlin

    Ideas about race came into roughly modern form in the early modern period when Europeans started to come into contact with other parts of the world. Ideas of race are based on the features that easily come to the eye, skin tone, hair, eye color. The categories which shift due to theses appearance differences and political conditions on the ground ie. slavery, colonization, exploitation at the time form the initial hunches that racists use to make an ideology usually crafted for the politically d Ideas about race came into roughly modern form in the early modern period when Europeans started to come into contact with other parts of the world. Ideas of race are based on the features that easily come to the eye, skin tone, hair, eye color. The categories which shift due to theses appearance differences and political conditions on the ground ie. slavery, colonization, exploitation at the time form the initial hunches that racists use to make an ideology usually crafted for the politically dominant group. Science developed at the time which made striking strides in understanding the world was employed either intentionally by racists or unintentionally by scientists who were like everyone else affected by the ideas around them to lend credibility to this racist sensibility. Human tendency for cognitive bias and seeing what our expectations tend to want to see can explain how a lot of shoddy work, especially in earlier eras, was accepted. In the wake of the Eugenics movement and its logical terminus at the gas chambers in Treblinka science examined those easy assumptions of race in the postwar era and found the idea of race didn't hold up to scrutiny. Of course, racists were not going to go quietly into the good night and assembled with money from rich donors (the right always has rich donors) and set up a network of intellectuals to keep racist ideas going. So while the rest of Europe was trying to come to terms with the legacy of racism the racist network of intellectuals was supporting each other and biding its time for a comeback. Now calling themselves "race realists" they are trying to put their ideas into the academic mainstream to revive and give license to racist impulses found in a wide swath of the population. The old monsters are now waking from their slumber and are beginning to stir and this book documents the bad actors bringing this about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rama

    Politically correct but scientifically unsound This book drew a lot of attention recently in which the author suggests that the use of race in biological/medical research is due to widespread racism. For example, in Chapter 1, she argues that Out of Africa theory is invented by Europeans, and Nazis wanted to prove superiority of Aryan race. This is false; Hitler made alliances with Muslims from the Middle east against Jews. The Third Reich was anti-Semitic. If Hitler was really a racist, he woul Politically correct but scientifically unsound This book drew a lot of attention recently in which the author suggests that the use of race in biological/medical research is due to widespread racism. For example, in Chapter 1, she argues that Out of Africa theory is invented by Europeans, and Nazis wanted to prove superiority of Aryan race. This is false; Hitler made alliances with Muslims from the Middle east against Jews. The Third Reich was anti-Semitic. If Hitler was really a racist, he would have invaded Africa. In fact, many SS officers who went to live in Egypt after the war became Muslims and followed Islamic practices. The author is also in error when she reminds readers that races correspond to “arbitrary” divisions of population variation that are “politically and economically useful,” The fact is that there are heritable characteristics that allow us to divide into a set of races in such a way that all the members share traits and tendencies with each other that they do not share with members of any other race. These traits and tendencies are viewed as race. Natural barriers such as oceans (e.g. the Atlantic), deserts (e.g. the Sahara) and mountain ranges (e.g. the Himalayas) impeded gene flow between different populations for substantial periods of time. When there is limited gene flow between populations that have come under different selection pressures, we would expect them to gradually diverge from one another over via the processes of genetic drift and natural selection. Races therefore correspond to human populations that have been living in relative isolation from one another, under different regimes of selection. This means that racial categories identify real phenotypic differences and reflect real genetic variation. Natural philosophers began to classify humans into different races because they looked different from one another. These differences reflect their divergent geographical origins. But the most controversial area of “race science” is research into population differences in cognitive ability. Chimpanzees share the distinction of being our closest living relative which share about 99% of our genes. A unique collaboration between the humanities and the natural sciences; geneticists, historians, archaeologists and linguists found a common ground about the origins of modern human beings including the common origins of languages from an ancient language called Indo-European language. Europeans today are a mix of the blending of at least three ancient populations of hunter-gatherers and farmers who moved into Europe in separate migrations. Modern human beings arose some 200,000 years ago, and for 190,000 years, they we were all dark-skinned, reflecting the origins from Africa. Caucasians are the product of a work of evolution across Europe, while scientist have discovered three genes that produce light skin – they have played a part in the lightening of Europeans’ skin color and the color of the eye over the past 8,000 years. The process of skin lightening, known as “depigmentation,” occurred due to a series of mutations in one particular gene called SCL24A5. Equating hereditarian claims with racism is illogical and irresponsible. Many of the ideas that Saini classifies as “scientific racism” are empirical claims. Besides, race is not a social construct, but nationalism and regionalism are certainly social constructs. She uses false arguments to fit her theory. This is a blatant abuse of scientific data to write a politically correct fable. Her conclusions are inaccurate. I would recommend staying away from this apologue.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gretel

    A full-length review needs more time than I currently have so TLDR: - race science is full of crap - it never went away and is now turning back full force - "centrists" helped it gain traction because they inherently have racist ideas that they never critically engaged with - STEM is full of "well-meaning" racists and needs to do fucking better - white supremacists/nazis/right-wingers/eugenicists/etc. are fucking dangerous and unfortunately for us funded by the wea A full-length review needs more time than I currently have so TLDR: - race science is full of crap - it never went away and is now turning back full force - "centrists" helped it gain traction because they inherently have racist ideas that they never critically engaged with - STEM is full of "well-meaning" racists and needs to do fucking better - white supremacists/nazis/right-wingers/eugenicists/etc. are fucking dangerous and unfortunately for us funded by the wealthies of people. The 0.1%. And they want us dead. - race science has ruined and taken many lives and it is an ongoing process and if we don't take responsibility - especially White people who have the privilege of their Whiteness - then genocide will spread even further - also, I have to add my own observation: those who believe in race science and those who don't "believe" (actually more like welcome) climate change/catastrophy is a single circle in a venn diagram (and they also happen to be fundi Christians so have fun with that one) In short: Read this book because it's not only well-written, excellently researched and highly illuminative, it gives a fantastic overview of the history of race science and how it connects to other problems (see: the financial aspect, meaning that they're funded by the wealthies and most powerful people who literally want to the see the world burn). A proper review will follow but it'll take some time to write since I have to summarise a really long book full proof and references.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    I won an advance copy of this book through the website Library Thing. The subject matter is so timely, what with the rise of right wing nationalists in both the USA and Europe. When most people think of racists, they think of creepy inbred guys like the one playing banjo in the movie Deliverance. They think of guys wearing white robes, burning crosses on lawns. They think of Nazis wearing SS uniforms. They don't think of scientists and writers and professors. It's these white collar, I won an advance copy of this book through the website Library Thing. The subject matter is so timely, what with the rise of right wing nationalists in both the USA and Europe. When most people think of racists, they think of creepy inbred guys like the one playing banjo in the movie Deliverance. They think of guys wearing white robes, burning crosses on lawns. They think of Nazis wearing SS uniforms. They don't think of scientists and writers and professors. It's these white collar, professional racists that are the most dangerous. Using flawed research and misinterpretations of data, they provide the intellectual ballast for right wing politician's political views. By citing "science", the politicians appeal to people's fears while at the same time sounding logical and reasonable. After all, it can't be racist if it's a "fact". No matter that these "facts" are not true, that they do not hold up to peer review or any sort of scrutiny at all. It's all about the presentation. There are a few journals, funded by right wing patrons, that provide a sort of echo chamber for these people. It's the same few names over & over again, taking turns validating each other. It fools people into thinking, "Hey this research is being published so it must be correct." Wrong, anyone with money can start a journal or think tank and then publish anything they want. Science is becomes a tool for the rationalization of political ideas. This book traces the history of race science, that is, the science of "proving" how white Europeans are better than everyone else. It started in the 1700's with the Age of Enlightenment. People wanted to study the human race. As Saini puts it - "The problem was that, because of the narrow parameters they established of what constituted a human being, setting themselves as the benchmark, other cultures were almost guaranteed not to fit. By seeing themselves as the paradigm, they had laid the foundations for dividing it." It reminded me of a book I read recently about medical research, about how men's bodies are considered the default normal. Disease symptoms, side effects from medicine etc - it's how a man's body reacts that is considered "normal". The fact that women's bodies often react differently from mens is seen as the abnormal reaction. It's the same here. Seeing their own culture and situation as "normal" and others as "abnormal". The initial definitions are wrong and so the science is flawed from the beginning. "When we study human origins, we don't start at the beginning, we start at the end, with our own assumptions as the basis for inquiry." Data in and of itself doesn't say anything. It's how we interpret the data. Scientists don't live in a vacuum. They are social creatures, who live in a society and their ideas are social constructions. Science is always shaped by the time and the place it is carried out. Saini gives an interesting example using the medical study of hypertension. It used to be seen as a Jewish disease because Jews were an inferior race more prone to health issues. Currently some medical professionals see it as a black disease, that black people are more prone to hypertension because of innate flaws within them. History, culture, environment are dismissed as reasons for differences within groups. The default answer is that it is due to biology. Saini also delves into the definition of race. Who came up with these categories. Why they came up with the categories. What does genetics and archaeology say about these categories. Why people want/need to separate people into groups. There are no good biological classifiers for race. It hinges on external differences like skin pigmentation and hair texture. There are no internal differences between humans. There is no variant of any gene that has been found to exist in everyone of one "race" and not in another. There is only one race, the human race. Our made up categories come out of humans need to be different from others. Another great Saini quote - "The power of nationalism calls to the part of us that doesn't want to be ordinary. People like to believe that they are descended from greatness, that they have been genetically endowed with greatness. It's not enough to be who we are now, to be good human beings in the present." It reminds me of people who believe in reincarnation. No one ever says in a past life that they were a peasant farmer, a petty bureaucrat, etc. They were always Napoleon or Cleopatra or Genghis Khan. Someone special! Thinking of humans in terms of different races lets people delude themselves with specialness.The idea of race didn't turn people racist, make them think of other groups as subhuman. The mistreatment was already there & already happening. The concept of race gave a rationale for the mistreatment. Race is not a universal construct. Race is not a biological rule. Race is a story we tell ourselves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    This book isn't written from a neutral perspective, and doesn't discuss the scientific research in detail. Or even is up to date with latest genetic research and information.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aija

    Angela Saini’s Superior is a well-written and well-constructed book about race in science. Starting from the history, Saini brings it to the present day. She gives plenty of examples of how race has an influence on so many things. How it has been the force behind colonialism and white supremacy. How our need of belonging has made us think we’re somehow better than the others. Unfortunately, racism is dead. And there’s still so much to do.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Cook

    EVERYONE MUST READ IT NOW

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I expected this book to focus on debunking the idea of innate differences in abilities between races. Instead, Saini documents the history of racial prejudice influencing science. The book is stronger for this approach, and I came out wiser, if a little more scared. In a well-written, often absorbing narrative, Saini documents the thread of eugenics from Darwinism, through fascism, and right to fringe publications, wealthy foundations, and even members of the editorial boards of mainstream I expected this book to focus on debunking the idea of innate differences in abilities between races. Instead, Saini documents the history of racial prejudice influencing science. The book is stronger for this approach, and I came out wiser, if a little more scared. In a well-written, often absorbing narrative, Saini documents the thread of eugenics from Darwinism, through fascism, and right to fringe publications, wealthy foundations, and even members of the editorial boards of mainstream science journals. She illustrates how a consistent way of thinking - which emphasises the superiority of European norms and peoples - continues to influence more mainstream thought. In this, the idea that outright racists are still within the Academy - is a little frightening in an era where outright racist ideas are gaining currency. Saini also looks at modern fields, from genetics to social and neuroscience. She covers the woeful tale of BiDil, which was for many years touted as the forerunner of a wave of racialised medicine. BiDil treats hypertension, which African-Americans suffer from in much higher rates than whites. Many American scientists persist in viewing this as a probable genetic difference, despite Africans (and Afro-Cuban) having quite low levels of hypertension. BiDil was touted as more effective on African-Americans. The issue is that it wasn't - in fact, in seeking approval to have listed as a specific racially targeted drug, BiDil was *only* tested on African Americans. The motivation was what Saini coyly calls "marketing", but was really to keep the drug in patent, and hence not subject to competing with generics. Nearly a decade on, BiDil is mostly a failure, not that surprising given it is marketed at a poor segment of the population but costs a mint, meaning health insurers won't pay for it. Oh, and it appears equally effective on all racial groups. BiDil has turned out to be the birth and death of racialised medicine. Saini also interviews David Reich, who bedazzles her with his complex net of understanding if how genetically mixed most humans are, descended from waves of people who use their ingenuity to get closer to the rest of the world, before twisting to hold open the "but theoretically we could have cognitive differences between population groups which correspond to race". Saini tackles him on how these ideas have been used - given that while " theoretically" it is possible, we have no evidence that is actually is - despite many goes at proving so. Reich's insistence that science will proof us against prejudice rings uncomfortably naive against the background of the book. It harkens back to the history of the Max Planck Institute/Kaiser Wilhelm institute, whose scientists mostly acquiesced to the Nazis, producing endless science demonstrating the superiority of blond Germans. The resisters were heroic, but they were also small in number and isolated. This book comes at a crucial time, not only because racism is on the rise, but as our societies seem more than ever riven between those who dismiss scientific experts altogether, and this who regard them as infallible. The book reminds us that scientists are human, part of society, and just as capable of storing their truths to support evil as the rest of us.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sharad Pandian

    I wasn't much a fan of Saini's previous book on gender Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, but in this follow-up on race, Saini does wonderfully. Saini's central argument is that the politics of race science makes the neutral treatment of race impossible. The history of the holocaust and the presence of white nationalists eager to seize anything they can use should make everyone very nervous about treading in these parts. That there is a re I wasn't much a fan of Saini's previous book on gender Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, but in this follow-up on race, Saini does wonderfully. Saini's central argument is that the politics of race science makes the neutral treatment of race impossible. The history of the holocaust and the presence of white nationalists eager to seize anything they can use should make everyone very nervous about treading in these parts. That there is a resurgence among scientists (who self-identify as liberal and denounce racism) of race science is then best understood as "well-intentioned people have reintroduced race to medical science without fully understanding either their reasons or the consequences." She shows this devastatingly well by interviewing scientists and revealing their naiveté — from those associated with the failed Human Genome Diversity Project to geneticist David Reich trying to explain James Watson's racism. Through numerous historic examples and paralells, she forcefully makes a case that "the idea of race is not harmless. It brings with it centuries of political baggage, the blood of millions. And it has never been a neutral variable." This gets at what makes this book so much better than her previous: by discarding the veneer of objectivity and deciding to overtly be a reporter, Saini produces the kind of work only reporters can. Building off earlier work she talks about the influence of the dark networks of money promoting race science, at the heart of which is the Pioneer Institute and the dodgy journal Mankind Quarterly. She contacts reputable journals like Intelligence where contributors to Mankind Quarterly work, revealing a lack of resistance, even complicity. Stylistically, instead of positioning herself as a neutral observer, prompted by the growth of racism internationally, Saini is open about herself as a player in the story. She talks about her own experience growing up Indian in London, living in one of the few bouroughs that voted to leave the EU in part out of fear of people who look like her. When talking about the human zoo she was visiting, she notes powerfully that "I more likely would have been inside a cage than outside it." She talks of crying for Gail Beck, an Australian Aboriginal woman whose family had for generations been part of the "stolen generations", where they were stolen from their families by the State in a naked attempt to destory indigenous ways of life: I don’t cry easily. But in the car afterwards, I cry for Gail Beck. There is no scale of justice large enough to account for what happened. Not just for the abuse and the trauma, the children torn from their parents, the killings, but also for the lives that women and men like her didn’t have the chance to live. Curiously, Saini's willingness to do away with the "objective" writing style makes her seem more credible. Related but perhaps less important, her writing style seems to have gotten much better. There are now bits like these: We are forever chasing our origins. When we can’t find what we want in the present, we go back, and back further still, until there, at the dawn of time, we imagine we’ve found it. In the gloomy mists of the past, having squeezed ourselves back into the womb of humanity, we take a good look. Here it is, we say with satisfaction. Here is the root of our difference. ...those committed to the biological reality of race won’t back down if the data prove them wrong. There’s no incentive for them to admit intellectual defeat. They will just keep reaching for fresher, more elaborate theories when the old ones fail. If skin color doesn’t explain racial inequality, then maybe the structure of our brains and bodies will. If not anatomy, then maybe our genes. When then this, too, produces nothing of value, they will reach for the next thing. All this intellectual jumping through hoops to maintain the status quo. All this to prove what they have always really wanted to know: that they are superior. Well, keep reaching, keep reaching. One day there will be nothing left to reach for. On the question of the science, the book is a little weaker. Although there are enough examples of badly done science to serve as a warning and as illustration of the range of ways science can overreach, it's not entirely clear what Saini thinks we should believe. She points out that the role of racism is often not taken into account, and that genetic explanations are reached for too quickly. But is there good race science that's possible? She quotes without criticism geneticist Mark Jobling: If everyone in the world had their genomes sequenced, says Jobling, you wouldn’t find hard borders between them, but gradients, with each small community blending into the next, the way hills blend into valleys. ...It would have been perfectly possible to study human variation without grouping people. As Jobling explains, the divisions between us are so blurry that humans can theoretically be grouped any way you like. “You could do a thought experiment where you just said we will take Kenyans, Swedes, and Japanese, and will just proportion everybody into those three things.” If this were done, because we are all genetically connected to the average Kenyan, Swede, or Japanese person, either directly or by historic migration, then everyone on earth could theoretically be fully assigned to a group based on just these three nationalities. You could say that you were so many percent Kenyan, so many percent Swedish, and so many percent Japanese.” This may seem meaningless, but actually it is no more meaningless than dividing the world into black, brown, yellow, red, and white. “The definitions of those populations are cultural, and the choice of population is driven by expediency.” Still, in other places, Saini compares "closeness" of genetic make-up, possibly indicating the presence of something like a single scale along which differences can be placed. I'm unclear whether she's claiming simply that genetically-salient populations won't map onto modern political borders (given historical contingency and how migration happened over and over again, both forwards and backwards), or whether thinking about objective populations themselves is dubious, given the actual results of modern science (since the effects of structural racism can't be eliminated and since scientists have failed to actually identify enough individual genes to account for supposed genetic differences, although they keep estimating this will happen very soon). I don't have the expertise to adjudicate scientific claims here, but I still think she makes a powerful case that scientists have and continue to refuse to see the obvious truth that race science is laden with political meanings, and so the approach has to be cautious at best: Yet we keep looking back to race because of its familiarity. We can’t help it. For so long, it has been the backdrop to our lives, the running narrative. We automatically translate the information our eyes and ears receive into the language of race, forgetting where this language came from. “I think that scientists, they are trapped by the categories they use. They will either have to jettison it or find different ways of talking about this,” says Hammonds. “They’ll have to come to terms with that it has a social meaning.” This doesn’t mean that racial categories shouldn’t be used in medicine or in science more generally. But it does mean that those who use them should fully understand what they mean, be able to define them, and to know their history. They should at least know what race is.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve Bowbrick

    An utterly gripping book. An essential read for an era in which pernicious racism is finding new support in bogus science.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    A very compelling, thorough investigation into the intersection of modern science and race theory. The book is so titled (and especially subtitled) so as to suggest that the reader is into a major exploration of a resurgence of race science, and indeed, the work begins with a discussion of race science...only for the reader to learn how it never really went away. Ever since the end of the first half of the twentieth century there has remained a small minority of researchers and invest A very compelling, thorough investigation into the intersection of modern science and race theory. The book is so titled (and especially subtitled) so as to suggest that the reader is into a major exploration of a resurgence of race science, and indeed, the work begins with a discussion of race science...only for the reader to learn how it never really went away. Ever since the end of the first half of the twentieth century there has remained a small minority of researchers and investigators attempting to justify old racial theories using new science. The author does well at exposing how they work, how flawed their works are, and yet their ability to pop up at any time, whenever the cultural tide is correct. But then the author also looks at the work of some very prominent anti-racist scientists as part of genome projects that look for differences among human populations in a way that, whereas not aligning with older categories, still attempts to categorize people into subpopulations. She questions the whole impulse to thus categorize and seek out such distinctions; she had already cast some aspersions on the whole basis of the Enlightenment project as *the* way forward for the investigation of reality. Toward the end of the work the author ends up demonstrating well how a good number of scientists, even those who have no ostensible racist intentions, end up maintaining racist categories in their heads, and, however unconsciously, continue to use them and thus find reasons to corroborate their presuppositions. In the end, the work just exposes how much of science is based on the presuppositions of scientists, and that as long as race is a major social category, science is going to keep attempting to find ways to characterize those who have as superior and those who don't as inferior. Biological bases will be sought for questions that are really answered sociologically: certain groups may be disadvantaged, but it's not based on biological difference (which, no matter how much it is sought, still does not exist), but based on sociological differences. But then, of course, those who have would again be forced to grapple with how they system they've built caused these other groups disadvantage, and would have to see how those disadvantages show up in the charts. To believe it's all based on genes, or some other factor, tranquilizes from these concerns. To this end this is a very powerful and excellent book and worthy of consideration: why do we even categorize on the basis of race? Why keep those boxes in our heads? Such boxes cause confusion and lead down inaccurate roads far more often than saying anything of value. We do better to see race categories as just the most recent form of justification of a form of supremacy, and deny its power outright. The author did well to point out how it was not that long ago that southern Europeans were believed to be inferior in intellect and biological stature; now they've been subsumed into the "white" population, and the same assumptions are now made about the "new" inferior groups, and it will probably change again. Likewise, it is hard to think of a racial basis for much of anything in Western culture when there are so many who seem to be of one race but are in fact an amalgamation of people from different parts of the world. The book also does well at showing the cost of implicit bias: the author spoke of a person she knew who went without the proper diagnosis for 8 years until a radiologist saw an x-ray without knowing who she was and could tell it was cystic fibrosis. At the time, cystic fibrosis was believed to be a "white disease," and the girl was black. We can assume no ill will on the part of the physicians; these false categories just meant there was a failure of imagination that could have ended very tragically. And yet...the author has her own set of biases. She is acutely aware of the dangers and difficulties of racism and tribalism, being of middle class England but of Indian descent. Her acknowledgement to her son expresses the excess: what makes us is our personal experiences and individual actions, with culture and family and other things that might shape a person given a brusque and glib passing comment. It's a bit ironic, but sadly unsurprising: the author has attempted to show how all of these scientists are blinded by their presuppositions and cannot see them for what they are, and thus do not see the disconnect between the science they think they're doing and the systemic racism they end up perpetuating, and yet she herself does not seem to see how she is atomizing everyone, as if one's reality is formed by one's experience and one's own actions. The chapter before she had described how Mendel's ideas about genetics were most likely flawed because interaction with other factors at play were not in view; and so it is with her own views on these subjects. Family, culture, etc. does, and should, wield a lot of influence on a person. Yes, there is no biological basis to race; yes, race science is all an attempt to demonstrate a supremacy that is biologically invalid and sociologically bankrupt. But that doesn't mean we throw all of culture and ethnicity into the dustbin of history. The problem is not differences among populations: the problem is looking at "the other" as less than on account of differences. Whatever solutions exist to the scourge of racism must still find a way to honor and value ethnic and national differences, even though they are based in sociology, not biology. Nevertheless, a book worthy of consideration. **--review copy received as part of early review program

  17. 5 out of 5

    J Earl

    Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini is an example of what science writing and journalism should be. She presents her position so there can't be any legitimate complaints about a hidden agenda, yet she presents the views of those abusing science to serve their views on race with more balance than most writers would be able to. This is not, nor does it claim to be, a scientific treatise. In much the same way that research surveys/overviews do, and these are regularly pu Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini is an example of what science writing and journalism should be. She presents her position so there can't be any legitimate complaints about a hidden agenda, yet she presents the views of those abusing science to serve their views on race with more balance than most writers would be able to. This is not, nor does it claim to be, a scientific treatise. In much the same way that research surveys/overviews do, and these are regularly published in peer reviewed journals so this isn't anything that should be so startling to these people who act like this is so "unscientific," Saini surveys the research and presents the consensus as well as the outlier views. Especially those outlier positions that have been appropriated by the alt-right (read racist, white supremacist extreme) to support their false sense of superiority. Perhaps what most bothers these "reviewers" who then spew pseudo-scientific manure in response is that after presenting some of these views, whether historical or relatively current, Saini uses the words of other researchers and scientists to refute those views, or at least to show how the chance of those views ever finding solid evidence is slim to none. Then, when she restates what these scientists say, those are the quotes these "reviewers" use to make it sound like she is just giving her own opinion. Don't let these people fool you, whether you agree with Saini and the majority of researchers in the field or not, this isn't just someone giving their opinions as argument against racist science. I started reading one or two reviews out loud to a researcher I know and had to stop, just reading it aloud caused all the dogs in the neighborhood to start barking. I guess there were a bunch of things in those reviews that do that. Particularly on e review that misused a research article in hopes no one would actually go read it and realize the guy lacks any science credibility whatsoever. Even for someone who understands that race is a social construct and thus finds the vast body of supporting research useful will have a couple areas that will likely not sit well. There is a difference between ignoring bad research and trying to stop research from being done. I never got the impression Saini was advocating for shutting down such research but a few of the researchers seemed like they would have been behind such an idea. The problem isn't so much that these researchers doing racist research are doing it but that there are now a lot of outlets that let these things see the light of day even though the vast majority of peer reviewed journals reject them. Prior to social media and the proliferation of information bubbles such research would have remained on the fringe and passed around or published through a few agenda-based publications. The book includes citations to research and articles mentioned if you want to make sure she isn't misstating what is being done, there is no hidden agenda here, at least not on her part. Those supporting and spreading the questionable science, well, their agenda is partially hidden behind false claims of being opposed to "identity politics" or pretending that the difference between any measurable characteristic of a population must be biological, since they pretend that there haven't been social, legal, and political factors. These pseudoscience advocates ignore, or likely don't understand, the extent to which environmental factors do indeed figure into genetics, primarily through epigenetics. But nuance isn't their thing, bluster and misdirection are their tools, and boy are they tools. I would recommend this to everybody. If you believe the vast body of evidence (as well as history) that race is socially constructed this offers some insight into how science is being misappropriated again. If you aren't sure exactly what might be different between populations and how those things might be framed, this will offer some insight into what the science can and cannot answer and will also show that many researchers doing this research aren't necessarily racist, they have a view of science that is still, unconsciously, affected by the society in which they live. If you believe that the vast majority of researchers are part of a long and large conspiracy to deny you your superiority, well, read it anyway, maybe some sense will seep in. But I know this last group won't read to learn anything or to assess information but strictly to find ways to attack it. They don't realize, or maybe they do but I'd rather not think they could be quite so low, that before one can argue against something one must have an understanding of that position. Otherwise, it just becomes trying to out yell the other side. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sookie

    Philosophers have written about "humanity" in its all encompassing meaning, they have written about virtue and morals and temperance but its unfortunate how all these are narrowly defined and limited to certain geographies and in turn, race. We are all well aware how the fundamental definitions of morality and virtue has a cultural lilt and somehow these philosophies tend to ignore what isn't in their vicinity. Be it Hume or Kant, they lacked the insight to see beyond the boundaries of their def Philosophers have written about "humanity" in its all encompassing meaning, they have written about virtue and morals and temperance but its unfortunate how all these are narrowly defined and limited to certain geographies and in turn, race. We are all well aware how the fundamental definitions of morality and virtue has a cultural lilt and somehow these philosophies tend to ignore what isn't in their vicinity. Be it Hume or Kant, they lacked the insight to see beyond the boundaries of their definition of humanity and still ended up defining it. It is up to us, in future, to question and debate these philosophies. But in current context, these philosophies have permeated to ethics, politics and its influence in everyday decision making. Saini argues this in initial chapters with selected examples including Max Plank science society that conducted experimentation during holocaust. Permeation of race superiority has taken place for several centuries finding its origins in colonialism. With Britain trying to be next big thing in civilizations, colonists pursued this ideology to heart and with "victories" came studies with which further progressed the racial divide. It takes a lot of years to undo thought processes and culturally induced racial proclivity. While most times its unintended, the times when it is, the consequences are devastating.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Information about the development of 'race' 'science' can be found in other places, but I like the way that the author, Angela Saini has collected these ideas and many of those involved with it into this book. Yes, and despite this questionable concept and the lack of scientific evidence to support it, the idea of 'race' is still with us. This book kept me interested throughout and would be one of my reading recommendations.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Violet Bell

    With the rise of populism and the far right this book is an excellent counter to their flimsy arguments - that there really is no such thing as biological race, that racial differences in intelligence are nonsense, but a small cabal of racists will continue to produce their flimsy arguments.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Seroxx83

    this was starting out really interesting,and then just got repetetive and boring tbh. Way too long! DNF 50%

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zara Rahman

    I’m such a fan of this book! It feels so timely and important, and covers such a wide range of research and topics. I’m so glad it exists, and have already recommended it a lot (and am beginning to reference it in my own work too, as i feel like a lot of the conclusions about race science are also just as valid for technology that touches on race/ethnicity.) hugely recommended!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Sometimes it made me sad, often it made me angry, and at times it scared the bejeebers out of me; and I’m really glad I read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christina Zamora

    Long, drawn out, and extremely boring. The fluff writing distracts from the author's solid points.

  25. 4 out of 5

    gaverne Bennett

    A book of genius. Couldn't be more timely...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Csimplot Simplot

    Excellent book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aneth Davidd

    An excellent write-up on the dangers of abusing science for oppression and political gain. The book details the rise of intellectual racism and its baselessness. It is well detailed in the subject of race and racism including its birth and history to-date. The book draws evidence from a wide variety of subjects including archeology, biology (particularly genetics) and history. It was an illuminating and mind-opening read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Poor book - despite it's heart being in the right place - does more to damage the thesis she presents by not credibly engaging with the academics she interviews. I think she is a bit out of her depth, perhaps as broadcast journalist she is used to the once-over-lightly feel-good style of journalism that this comes across as. Did not finish.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel Gustin

    In her acknowledgements, Angela Saini calls this "the book that I have wanted to write since I was ten years old" -- since she was a child and other children threw rocks at her and her sister because they were of Indian descent. This is a book with an agenda. It deserves five stars primarily because it is important, a significant book, even if perhaps it is not the best possible investigation of its subject. At 292 pages in a decently large font, this is reasonably short, easily digestible over In her acknowledgements, Angela Saini calls this "the book that I have wanted to write since I was ten years old" -- since she was a child and other children threw rocks at her and her sister because they were of Indian descent. This is a book with an agenda. It deserves five stars primarily because it is important, a significant book, even if perhaps it is not the best possible investigation of its subject. At 292 pages in a decently large font, this is reasonably short, easily digestible over a long weekend. The style is very accessible and technical details are sweepingly omitted. The approach is journalistic, a chain of interviews and site visits, the format of a television series made for the masses. I guess one could call it a pamphlet, almost: It is a book written to expound its case to the general public, to advocate and to convince. As such, it is timely. What this is, essentially, is investigative journalism, a probing of the dark networks in which racist ideology is kept alive, an illumination of the murky corners of pseudoscience where racist concepts are still flourishing, and a warning about the stark vulnerability of genetic research to those who want to use its achievements for their own nefarious ends. It doesn't go deep into the science: While this book gives a few hints of what population genetics does, it omits any technical detail, and certainly doesn't dig into the complexity of genome-wide association studies and what Nature called "the case of the missing heritability." At times, I found the technical superficiality a bit irksome, especially in the first quarter of the book, which is a sketchy historical review. Nevertheless, the book contains some clearly explained examples of bad, prejudiced science; even of medical authorities still recommending distinct courses of treatment for people of different ethnicity based on scant evidence and weak statistics. It's a choice. Saini's real interest is not in the science but in the scientists; in the people rather than the content, and she does not want to be side-tracked. She looks into how research can be warped, both in its execution and its in interpretation, by the strong forces of prejudice and money. In her journey she encounters people who very much live on the edge, who console themselves that at least their prejudices are not yet contradicted by their research, as well as people who have fallen into the chasm and whose interpretations are no longer justifiable to the healthy mind. She reveals an awkward relationship between science and society, in which many scientists have learnt to pick their words very carefully to avoid misinterpretation (deliberate or otherwise) but others are happy enough to encourage profitable confusion and publicity. Much of the book's success rests on Saini's willingness and ability to enter in conversation with a surprisingly broad spectrum of people. There is something fascinating in her brief accounts of interactions with people who routinely eschew the limelight. In summary, if you expect a detailed historical review of the fluid and confusing concept of "race" in scientific research, this is likely to be something of a disappointment. (That would be a monumental task.) But if you are interested in how science and pseudo-science interact with society, this is both enlightening and alarming.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Clarke

    Superior: The Return of Race Science is a concise and interesting book on the way elements of race science continue to permeate scientific research. Saini is clearly an accomplised journalist, interviewing both those whose research has been deemed racist and those who have accused them. She has been thorough - never describing someone's work as racist without also giving them an opportunity to defend themselves. She discusses dimensions to race science that I had not considered before - although Superior: The Return of Race Science is a concise and interesting book on the way elements of race science continue to permeate scientific research. Saini is clearly an accomplised journalist, interviewing both those whose research has been deemed racist and those who have accused them. She has been thorough - never describing someone's work as racist without also giving them an opportunity to defend themselves. She discusses dimensions to race science that I had not considered before - although I was aware that genetics has frequently been twisted in this way, I had not thought about the effects this could have on medical science, or how we considered our origins. The only chapter I had problems with was "Roots". I found Saini's arguments convoluted. She argues that the surprise British people experienced when Cheddar man (one of the oldest human bodies found in Briton, dating from 10,000 years ago) was found to be black is due to disbelief at our British forebears being black. The national identity we have constructed around our white skin was apparently shattered by this discovery. This seems unfair. I think most of the surprise stems from the timing - modern humans migrated from Africa around 40,000 years ago. Cheddar man is 10,000 years old. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect white skin to have emerged during these 30,000 years. Whilst discussing this, Saini states that "The first human pioneers didn't arrive in Europe or Asia looking white, because they had migrated from Africa, where there was little or no survival advantage in having lighter skin pigmentation". However, she then goes on to discuss how during this period humans would have been more genetically diverse than we are now, with populations across the world having become more "homogenised" as our population has expanded. She states that "genes associated with both dark and light skin have existed in Africa for a long time" and that "many of the gene variants associated with light skin may have already been there when people first migrated from the continent". This seems like a contradiction to me - first claiming that human pioneers did not arrive in Europe looking white, before going on to claim that light skin *did* exist before migration, and did not evolve independently in Europe. It could be that I am misunderstanding this chapter. And it is a shame, because the rest of the book is very good. But I think when you are trying to argue against scientific speculation on race, it is important not to also fall in scientific speculation yourself, which I think Saini does when she discusses the possible skin colour of early African migrants. I also think this problem is compounded by her referencing. The references for each chapter are included at the end in alphabetical order, and there is no actual referencing within the chapter. So it is difficult to find the exact source of a specific claim without going through the entire list to find a plausibly-titled reference. I have given this work 4* because it illuminates a dark part of science which needs to be discussed. It is not perfect, but it is worth a read.

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