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FW: [ANTHRO-L] Controversial FSU prof Glayde Whitney dies

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: Ian Pitchford [mailto:ian.pitchford@SCIENTIST.COM] Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 11:31 AM To: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2002
      FW: [ANTHRO-L] Controversial FSU prof Glayde Whitney dies

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ian Pitchford [mailto:ian.pitchford@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 11:31 AM
      To: ANTHRO-L@...
      Subject: [ANTHRO-L] Controversial FSU prof Glayde Whitney dies

      Tallahassee Democrat
      January 10, 2002

      Controversial FSU prof Glayde Whitney dies

      By Jeff Burlew, Democrat Staff Writer

      Glayde Whitney, a Florida State University professor known as much for
      his controversial views on race as his expertise in genetics and
      behavior, died early Wednesday. He was 62.

      Robert Contreras, chairman of the Department of Psychology, said
      Whitney e-mailed the university earlier this week saying he would miss
      Tuesday classes because of an illness. He died at Tallahassee Memorial
      Hospital, according to a hospital official. The exact illness could
      not be verified by The Democrat.

      Whitney spent most of his career, which spanned more than 31 years, at
      FSU, where he taught in the psychology department and conducted
      research into genetic mechanisms underlying behavior. Before that, he
      taught at New Mexico State University.

      Several years ago, the National Institutes of Health bestowed on him a
      prestigious merit award, a major research grant given to scientists
      who have made long-standing contributions, Contreras said.

      But Whitney generated intense controversy in 1999 when he wrote a
      foreword to a book penned by former-Klansman-turned-politician David
      Duke. The book, "My Awakening," called for separate nations for blacks
      and whites and claimed blacks are inferior to whites.

      Whitney called Duke's book "a painstakingly documented, academically
      excellent work . . . that has the potential to raise tremendous
      controversy and change the very course of history."

      Contreras said Whitney's outspoken views sparked controversy at FSU
      and across the country. Although Contreras disagreed with his views on
      race, he acknowledged his right to academic freedom and expression.

      "I think he thought he was doing the right thing," Contreras said. "I
      don't think he was trying to make people angry - I think he was trying
      to make people think differently. But he did upset a lot of people,
      and he did make a lot of people angry."

      Whitney, who earned bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the
      University of Minnesota, was known for his work with mice in studying
      genetics and behavior. This semester, he was scheduled to teach a
      genetics course at FSU's branch campus in Panama City.

      Donald Foss, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, remembered
      Whitney as a scientist who was at the forefront of his discipline. He
      said many of his colleagues disagreed with Whitney's views.

      "In the face of such criticism, he defended his views," Foss said in a
      statement. "As well, (FSU) defended his right to hold them."

      Funeral arrangements are pending.

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