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Science Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Hospital Beds at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 2020.

How capitalism made the world sick

By Editors' Choice

Rupa Marya and Raj Patel’s Inflamed argues that the human cost of our economic system is a key to understanding the health of the world. By Sarah Jones, The Nation — No one should pay for a coronavirus test. This is not a moral judgment but a statement of fact; the US government has decreed it so. Insurers are supposed to cover the tests, at no cost to the consumer….

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Black child

Trans-Generational Epigenetic Injury is the Cause of the Higher Black Deaths from COVID-19

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Reparations

Research center needed urgently to address Trans-Generational Epigenetic Injury By Kamm Howard National Co-Chair of N’COBRA and NAARC Commisioner Transgenerational Epigenetics is a new field of science, about 15 years old, that examines how cataclysmic occurrences can alter a portion of the gene, and how that altered expression is passed down generationally. This was first examined in trying to understand why grand-children of Jewish holocaust survivors had a higher degree…

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Meharry's students and staff have worked together to conduct drive-thru testing and screening for the coronavirus. Meharry Medical College

Black scientists hope to begin testing antiviral drug for coronavirus in two weeks

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Editors' Choice

Meharry Medical College President James Hildreth has been advocating for advanced or pre-emptive screening in black neighborhoods for weeks. By Curtis Bunn, NBC News — Meharry Medical College was founded in 1876 in Nashville, Tennessee, to teach medicine to former enslaved Africans and to serve the underserved. Now, in one of its laboratories, a scientist says he is two weeks away from testing an anti-virus to prevent COVID-19, the disease…

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Science Vs. Myth — The COVID-19 Crisis

Science Vs. Myth — The COVID-19 Crisis

By Commentaries/Opinions, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

By Bill Fletcher, Jr., NNPA  — Trump’s decision to cut funding for the World Health Organization (WHO)—which we warned about last week—is yet another example of his efforts to obscure reality and distance himself from any responsibility for the mess that the USA finds itself in as a result of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis. There is a deeper problem, however, than Trump’s apparent narcissism and scapegoating. We are…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Sisters in STEM — Challenges and Triumphs

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — Few in these United States had heard of Katherine Johnson, the gifted mathematician who finished high school and college at 18. How could we know when scientists are often stereotyped as old white men wearing white lab coats, with glasses sliding down their noses? You might not have known unless you’d picked up Margot Lee Shetterly’s book (2015), Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American…

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Hurricane Dorian

Why Hurricane Dorian Defied Forecasts and Sank the Bahamas

By Commentaries/Opinions

The storm evolved swiftly and unpredictably. But it was other weather phenomena that caused Dorian to stall, devastating the island nation. By Eric Niiler, Wired — Jason Dunion has been flying on “hurricane hunter” planes for the past 20 years to collect data on tropical storms. Yet Sunday’s flight into Hurricane Dorian was the first time he had felt the awesome power of a Category 5 storm. Dunion, a scientist at…

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People explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy

By Editors' Choice

By Michael E. Ruane, The Washington Post — The mysterious and chronic sickness had been afflicting slaves for years, working its way into their minds and causing them to flee from their plantations. Unknown in medical literature, its troubling symptoms were familiar to masters and overseers, especially in the South, where hundreds of enslaved people ran from captivity every year. On March 12, 1851, the noted physician Samuel A. Cartwright…

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Simone Biles

The Athletic Brilliance, Biometrics and Unbounded Success of Simone Biles

By Commentaries/Opinions

Fans believe she can fly! By S.E. Williams, Black Voice News — Simone Biles thrilled gymnastic enthusiasts on Friday, August 15 as she secured her sixth national gymnastics title with a near flawless routine and “double-double” dismount on the uneven bars during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. With this sixth championship, Biles became the first woman in nearly seventy years to accomplish such success in this regard….

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Nazi officials use calipers to measure an ethnic German's nose on January 1, 1941. The Nazis developed a pseudoscientific system of facial measurement that was supposedly a way of determining racial descent.

The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism

By Editors' Choice

A new book explores how racist biases continue to maintain a foothold in research today By Ramin Skibba, Smithsonian — Scientists, including those who study race, like to see themselves as objectively exploring the world, above the political fray. But such views of scientific neutrality are naive, as study findings, inevitably, are influenced by the biases of the people conducting the work. The American sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois once wrote,…

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Hans Sloane collected this specimen of cacao in Jamaica in the 1680s. Sloane often collected on or near slave plantations, taking advantage of slavery’s infrastructure to advance his science.

Historians Expose Early Scientists’ Debt to the Slave Trade

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By examining scientific papers, correspondence between naturalists, and the records of slaving companies, historians are now seeing new connections between science and slavery and piecing together just how deeply intertwined they were. By Sam Kean, Science Magazine — At the dawn of the 1700s, European science seemed poised to conquer all of nature. Isaac Newton had recently published his monumental theory of gravity. Telescopes were opening up the heavens to…

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Students protest a speech by author Charles Murray, who co-wrote a book discussing racial differences in intelligence, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 11, 2017

Scientific Racism Isn’t ‘Back’—It Never Went Away

By Commentaries/Opinions

In the age of Trump, believers of the once-popular tenets of scientific racism are feeling emboldened. By Edward Burmila — Judging by the headlines, pseudo-scientific racism is making a comeback. Nineties-relic Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) is popping up on campuses and in conservative media outlets, much to the delight of those who think his graphs confer legitimacy to their prejudices. Atheist philosopher and podcaster Sam Harris is extolling Murray’s…

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History: How African Muslims “Civilized Spain”

History: How African Muslims “Civilized Spain”

By Editors' Choice

By Garikai Chengu —  Four hundred and eight years ago today King Phillip III of Spain signed an order, which was one of the earliest examples of ethnic cleansing. At the height of the Spanish inquisition, King Phillip III ordered the expulsion of 300,000 Muslim Moriscos, which initiated one of the most brutal and tragic episodes in the history of Spain. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was ancient Africans that…

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