Title: Cultural Reactions to Scientific Knowledge: The Creation of Race

Thesis statement: [Advised to refrain from constructing a statement now in order to allow research to guide me rather than restricting it beforehand]

Critical Question(s): What societal impacts have scientific advancements resulted in with regards to Race? Benefits? Detriments? How valid is Race?

Brief description: Exploration of race through the scientific lens –  The construct of race has been largely questioned by scientists and society alike for its scientific validity

Tentative Outline:


Describe purpose of essay while clarifying the term “race” as is has been used throughout time.

Body Paragraph 1- Origin of Race:

Introduce history behind the use of race as a classifying factor between people.  References can be made to Biblical interpretations of race: Genesis 4:11-15, Genesis 9:18-27, Genesis 11:1—9.

Body Paragraph 2 – Eugenics: 

Analyze creation of eugenics through the use of Darwinism and understand its dispersal as a tool for racism throughout the world.  Investigate the use of pseudoscience to support racist beliefs and racial superiority through eugenic practices.  Delve into Robert Morton and his nickname as “The Father of Scientific Racism” in order to understand how people responded to such claims from a “scientific source”.

Body Paragraph 3 – Present Genetic Research:

Present data that resolves the definition of race.  Use genetic research and DNA projects to describe current understanding of “races” or characteristics used to identify groups of people.  Possibly: use a case study through new personal genomics and biotechnology companies (23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, etc.).

Body Paragraph 4 – Medical Prejudice:

Use as an example of prejudice that has risen from racial distinctions through the exploration of healthcare practices and doctor response to patients of different races.  Example: Serena Williams’ post-pregnancy struggles.

Body Paragraph 5 – Political Response:

Describe past and present response by governing bodies to hierarchy imposed through race: slavery and prejudiced legislation.  Use past “One Drop Rule” and current “Degree of Native Blood” rules to inform non-scientific and scientific use of genetic background through legal practices.


Summarize the construction of race and its use in the scientific community along with the response of wider society.



Abrams, Cooper P. “THE ORIGIN OF RACE .” Bible Truth, www.bible-truth.org/race.htm#003. [Unsure about credibility – but can use as bibliographic resource]

Gannon, Megan. “Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue.” Scientific American, LiveScience, 5 Feb. 2016, www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-construct-scientists-argue/.

Guilfoyle, John, Len Kelly, and Natalie St Pierre-Hansen. “Prejudice in Medicine: Our Role in Creating Health Care Disparities.” Canadian Family Physician 54.11 (2008): 1511–1513. Print.

Janet Browne, Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography. Atlantic Monthly Press 2008.

Colbert, Elizabeth. “There’s No Scientific Basis for Race-It’s a Made-Up Label.” The Race Issue, National Geographic, 12 Mar. 2018, www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/04/race-genetics-science-africa/.

Unesco. The Race Question in Modern Science; Race and Science. Columbia University Press, 1961.