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The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in Australia

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7394.888 (Published 19 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:888
  1. Joff Lelliott, honorary research fellow (japlelliott@hotmail.com)
  1. University of Queensland, Australia

    The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in Australia

    Warwick Anderson

    Melbourne University Press, $A34.95, pp 364

    ISBN 0 522 84989 X

    www.mup.unimelb.edu.au

    Due to be published in the USA next month by Basic Books, $45

    www.basicbooks.com

    ISBN 0 465 00305 2

    Rating: Embedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded Image

    Embedded Image It is not often that a book elicits an apology for past injustices before it has been published, but in 2002 this happened with Warwick Anderson's The Cultivation of Whiteness.

    Between the two world wars, researchers from the University of Adelaide travelled the Australian outback conducting crude research on Aborigines, including experiments on their feelings of pain, and forcibly took blood samples and body measurements. The research forms one part of Australia's highly racialised history. In apologising, Professor Cliff Blake, the university vice chancellor, said that “the tests and experiments carried out on Aboriginal people in south Australia in the name of science in the 1920s and 1930s were degrading …

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