From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 5:00 AM
To: Chronicle Daily Report
Subject: 3/4/2005 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
Daily Report for subscribers
Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education
for Friday, March 4.
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
A glance at the winter issue of "Daedalus":
When race matters
People of different races are not essentially different kinds of
people, and racial classification is more useful for building
and maintaining empires than for understanding anything about
individuals, says Ian Hacking, a professor of philosophy and
history of scientific concepts at the College of France.
However, in certain circumstances, particularly in medicine, it
can be useful to consider race, he says.
Leukemia patients who need bone-marrow transplants, for example,
must receive them from donors who have matching human leukocyte
antigens. Such antigens, he says, are "unevenly distributed
among ethnic and racial groups," so patients are more likely to
find matching donors within their own group.
There are registries for donors from different groups, and if
you visit their Web sites, he says, "you will see they do not
shilly-shally in some dance of euphemistic political correctness
"For them," he writes, "it is a matter of life and death."
Unfortunately, "every time such a phenomenon is found useful,
the racists will try to exploit the racial difference," he says.
The answer is not to play down differences that are
statistically significant and potentially useful, he says.
Rather, it is "to make it common knowledge that specific
differences among peoples may be used in helping them."
The article, "Why Race Still Matters," which is part of a theme
issue on race, is not online. Information about the journal is
available at http://www.amacad.org/publications/daedalus.aspx
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