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Combatting the Weaponization of Science By Right-wing Extremists
Speaker: Dr Jedidiah Carlson (TwinStrand Biosciences)
Talk abstract: In the last 10 years, there has been a surge in the popularity of far-right White supremacist communities throughout Europe and the US. Though these communities are loosely connected and vary widely on many fundamental ideological issues, one of their most consistently shared beliefs is that contemporary genetics research supports the existence of "biological races" and that differences in cognitive and behavioral traits between races are determined primarily by intrinsic, immutable genetic differences between such groups. These beliefs, in turn, are used to justify discrimination, hate speech, and racial violence. In this talk, I will outline the historical and contemporary modes by which genetics research is used as an ideological weapon by the far right, through the lens of my own empirical research in which I quantify this phenomenon of extremist co-option and enthusiasm for scientific papers on social media. I argue that scientists bear a responsibility to not only distance themselves from unscientific co-option, but are obligated to actively participate in rejecting and dismantling systems that perpetuate racism. I conclude with a discussion of various ways in which scientists might actively combat the weaponization of their work.

About the speaker:
Jedidiah Carlson, PhD, is a population geneticist and metaresearcher, currently working as a bioinformatics scientist for TwinStrand Biosciences. Dr. Carlson has had a long-standing interest in how research from his field (and science as a whole) gets applied, co-opted, and manipulated by far-right extremist communities. He has been a leading voice on the topic, and his work has been covered in The Atlantic, Science & BBC.

Accessibility & Information
For accessibility reasonable adjustments or any questions, please contact the Inclusive Research Collective on inclusiverc@gmail.com

Jun 29, 2022 03:00 PM in London

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