Anthropology Now has a review out by Elizabeth Chin who actually read Jason Richwine’s PhD Thesis on genetics and i.q. from Harvard’s Kennedy School. The review is framed as the feedback Richwine should have received from one of his three committee members, but did not. Chin raises many of the same issues that Michael Scroggins and I have been raising here on Ethnography.com about the nature of race and genetics. From Chin’s writing, I think that it is pretty clear that we share with her a pretty mainstream view within in the social sciences. I am still surprised though at the big epistemological gulf that persists between the social sciences, and some geneticists/biologists who write about behavior. Fro this perspective, Chin is particularly prescient in pointing out the broad literature about race and i.q. that Richwine apparently ignores.
On a more general level, I firmly agree with Chin that the Dissertation Committee Members were remiss in reviewing Richwine’s dissertation at the proposal, review, and signing off stages. Something seems to me to be quite wrong at the Kennedy School—was the dissertation even read by the faculty members?
And as a Post-script. Inside Higher Education weighed in on the Genetics and IQ blogging that is going on recently, and commented on here. In particular, they ask some serious questions about the work of Steve Hsu, and his study to investigate the genetics of people who are do well on the SAT exams, and/or get PhDs from particular universities in the natural sciences, math, or some kinds of engineering. There is a positive reference to Michael Scroggins’ blog in the body of the article. For snark, you have to go to the follow-up comments!
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com.