Synopses & Reviews
Race is not a biological reality.
Racism thrives on our not knowing this.
Racist pseudoscience is on the rise — fueling hatred, feeding nationalism, and seeping into our discourse on everything from sports to intelligence. Even the well-intentioned repeat stereotypes based on "science," because cutting-edge genetics are hard to grasp — and all too easy to distort. Paradoxically, misconceptions are multiplying amid today's unprecedented surge of research on human genetics. We've never had a clearer picture of who we are and where we come from, and the science, when accurately understood, is a powerful and definitive ally against racism. But not nearly enough of these findings have made their way into the casual conversations we have about race.
This penetrating guide shows us how being a responsible and enlightened citizen on the matter of race today requires us to know what modern genetics actually can and can't tell us about human difference. Racial categories still vexing our societies do not align with observable genetic differences--and those differences are, in fact, so minute that they serve as evidence of our commonality.
"A fascinating debunking of racial pseudoscience....Engaging and enlightening." The Guardian
"Nobody deals with challenging subjects more interestingly and compellingly than Adam Rutherford, and this may be his best book yet. This is a seriously important work." Bill Bryson
"An earnest review proving that the concept of "race" has no basis in science....An excellent overview of human genetics." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, science writer, and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first known genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. As well as writing for the science pages of The Guardian, he has written and presented many award-winning series and programs for the BBC, including the flagship weekly Radio 4 program Inside Science, The Cell for BBC Four, and Playing God (on the rise of synthetic biology) for the leading science series Horizon. He is also the author of How to Argue With a Racist, an incisive guide to what modern genetics can and can't tell us about human difference; The Book of Humans, a new evolutionary history that explores the profound paradox of the "human animal"; A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Creation, on the origin of life and synthetic biology, which was short-listed for the Wellcome Book Prize.