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The Race Gallery: The Return of Racial Science

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7039.1168 (Published 04 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1168
  1. Paul Weindling

    Marek Kohn Cape, £17.99, pp 322 ISBN 0 224 03958 X

    At the turn of the century some of the most innovative ideas concerning the prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases and mental disabilities were formulated in eugenic and racial terms. As human genetics research and screening have advanced, questions of ethnicity, race, and disease continue to haunt modern medicine.

    Attention has shifted from external physical appearance to chromosomes and genes, and most recently to the molecular level, but ideas of some type of racial essence or identity have persisted, and the Human Genome Project has wisely included a built-in ethical component. Other scientists adhere to long discredited notions: some schools of anthropology in eastern Europe seem like remote tribes cut …

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