Ending "RACEISM": Why Defeating Racism Requires the Repudiation of Race – the Civic Role of Science and Scientists

Dr. Carlos Hoyt, presenter, is the author of The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race (Oxford University Press, 2016) and an assistant professor of social work at Wheelock College in Boston.

About the talk:

The power and persuasiveness of science in the discourse on race has swung from infamous initial validation of racial differences to present day efforts to disabuse scientists of racialized conceptualizations of human beings. The burgeoning scientific literature advocating the relinquishment of race as a valid lens through which to understand and navigate human population differences, however, consistently stops at the gates of the domain of science.  Geneticists, biologists, and medical doctors are increasingly vocal about the lack of utility and actual harm that results from employing race as a proxy for meaningfully distinct human subgroups – but only within the bounds of their professional realms, not in society in general.

Beyond the territory of their respective practices, scientists are reluctant to challenge the deployment of race, usually based on the perceived need to address racism by acknowledging the power and persistence of the social construct of race. This stance represents a misguided deference to a pernicious cognitive error that science originally empowered. It is time for science to be thoroughgoing in its recognition of the illegitimacy of race by taking a leading role in shifting society away from the racial worldview.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94158

Event Type

Lecture/Seminar, Special Event


Graduate Division


Students, Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, Local Community, Alumni


Mission Bay





Contact Info

roberto.banuelos@ucsf.edu, phone 502-3224