In this episode, we have addressed different dimensions of scientific racism from COVID-19 disparity data to the uses of human remains in anthropology.
This episode turns the spotlight on these issues: what science has to do with fictions of race, and how creative researchers and educators are enlarging the discourse on evolution and eugenics, even drawing on comic book superheroes as a resource for engaging the public. Our host Mélena Laudig sits down with biologist Shane Campbell-Staton and historian of science Ayah Nuriddin to discuss, and we are also pleased to introduce our new host, Collin Riggins!
The Culture of __
- Jacque Smith and Cassie Spodak, “Black or 'Other'? Doctors may be relying on race to make decisions about your health,” CNN, June 7, 2021
- Ezra Turner, “MOVE Bombing Remains Scandal Shows Enduring Racism in Anthropology,” Teen Vogue, July 16, 2021
- Black AF in STEM
The Breakdown - Guest Info
Shane Campbell-Staton is an Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He comes to us from UCLA where he was jointly appointed in the Institute for Society and Genetics. His research group focuses on evolution in the Anthropocene, studying animal performance, gene expression and genomics to understand the lasting biological impacts of our human footprint. In addition to his scientific work, Shane hosts the popular podcast “The Biology of Superheroes,” with Arien Darby.
Ayah Nuriddin is a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in Princeton’s Society of Fellows, as well as a lecturer in the Council of Humanities and African American Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University. Ayah’s work shows how African Americans have navigated questions of racial science, eugenics, and hereditarianism in relation to struggles for racial justice since the nineteenth century. She is also interested in how race and scientific racism shape discourses and activism around health inequality. Ayah is working on a book manuscript, “Seed and Soil: Black Eugenic Thought in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries” and teaches courses at Princeton like “Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History.”
See, Hear, Do
- Shane Cambpell-Staton and Arien Darby, The Biology of Superheroes Podcast
- Ayah Nuriddin, “African Americans and Eugenics,” C-SPAN American History TV, January 5, 2018
- Terence Keel, Divine Variations: How Christian Thought Became Racial Science (Stanford University Press, 2018)
- PBS: American Experience, The Eugenics Crusade, October 16, 2018
- Alexander Glustrom, Mossville: When Great Trees Fall (Fire River Films, 2020)