Racial categories may feel tangible, but as we know from genetics, they are no more rooted in biology than they were hundreds of years ago when they were arbitrarily invented by European scientists who were affected by the politics of their time. Yet scientific myths about human difference live on today in disturbing ways, including biological myths about caste. As ethnic nationalism rises around the world, race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the abuse of data and facts by politically-motivated groups. Even well-intentioned scientists, through their lazy use of old-fashioned categories, inappropriately imply that race and caste have some innate basis. We forget to our cost that this was never about biology, and always about power.
Angela Saini, Science Journalist, Broadcaster
Angela Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster.
She presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired. Her latest book, Superior: the Return of Race Science, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times.
Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into thirteen languages.
Angela has a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford and was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.