Tag

Science Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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….

Read More
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,…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More

Breakthrough: The Killer Snail Chemist — Mandë Holford Ph.D., Biochemist

By Video/Audio

Video Description: These aren’t your ordinary garden snails. Tiny cone snails may boast delicate and gorgeous shells, but they pack a powerful—and lethal—punch. The snails’ venom can be fatal to various fish and even humans. But it could also offer a potential cure. Mandë Holford, a biochemist at Hunter College and the American Museum of Natural History, works with a team to investigate the snails’ venom and look for compounds that could be used to treat pain and cancer. Ancient cultures have traditionally used their natural environment to look for cures for the things that ail them, she explains. Now, researchers are investigating how “nature’s deadliest cocktail” could create new pathways for treating old problems.

Read More
DNA African Americans slavery reparations

How DNA and ‘recreational genealogy’ is making a case for reparations for slavery

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Jonathan Freedland  In an interview at Columbia University, where she’s dean of social science, Nelson described DNA as containing a social power as well as a biological one. “We think it offers a lot of answers on things that ail us,” Nelson said. She wanted to expand the kinds of problems DNA could answer beyond those of individual health or biology to include “social and political problems, which have…

Read More