The Science and Politics of Racial Research

Author: William H. Tucker
The classic refutation of scientific racism
Paper – $35
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1996
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About the Book

Despite persistent claims by books like The Bell Curve, exhaustive research has proven there is no scientific purpose or value to studying innate differences in ability between groups. William H. Tucker’s pioneering history of the topic shows how so-called scientific investigations of these differences have been used to rationalize social and political inequality while proving nothing.

Tucker describes research on genetic difference era by era, from the use of science to support nineteenth-century slavery to Jensenism’s effects in the 1970s. Highlights include a chapter on the little-known but concerted attempt by a group of scientists to overturn the Brown v. Board of Education decision through “expert testimony” about racial differences. Another section provides a valuable review of the eugenics movement in the twentieth century. The author also proposes that strengthening the rights of research subjects can balance the rights and responsibilities of scientists.

About the Author

William H. Tucker is an emeritus professor of psychology at Rutgers University-Camden. He is the author of The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology and The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund.

Also by this author

The Funding of Scientific Racism coverThe Cattell Controversy cover


"An antidote to that much-publicized book, The Bell Curve.. . . Take a couple chapters and call Jesse Helms in the morning."--National Catholic Reporter

"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


"William Tucker's timely book refutes the argument."--Maya Angelou

"A marvelous book!"--Carl T. Rowan

"A splendid book, indeed, the best of many admirable books. . . . Will do a great deal of good in the world."--Ashley Montagu

"Anybody reading The Bell Curve should read The Science and Politics of Racial Research."--George Armelagos, coauthor of St. Catherines Island: The Story of People and Place

"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


Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award, 1995. Winner of the Ralph J. Bunche Award, American Political Science Association, 1995. Outstanding Book from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.