Is Race “Real”? – A Social Science Research Council Web Forum

… an Atlas resource page in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

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The SSRC Forum

In 2006, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) organized a web forum of leading authorities on the question “Is Race Real”? The 14 contributions can be found at

The SSRC introduces the forum with:

“In a March 14, 2005, Op-Ed piece published in The New York Times, Dr. Armand Marie Leroi, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Imperial College in London, challenged scholarly approaches that treat race as a social construction, arguing that recent research in the biological and the social sciences offers fresh evidence that racial differences are genetically identifiable. His editorial, “A Family Tree in Every Gene,” expresses a more widespread tendency among certain communities of researchers to revise longstanding scientific understandings about the relationship between race and genetics.

“The SSRC believes the subject of race and genomics warrants critical reflection and debate among researchers and the broader public, given its important implications across an array of disciplines in the biological and social sciences, its potential impact on a number of policy domains, as well as broader consequences for society at large. In an effort to contribute to this discussion, we have commissioned a series of short essays by leading researchers with a diverse set of disciplinary and analytic perspectives. We hope this forum will serve as a tool for scholars, educators, policy makers and students, and promote informed debate on what is no doubt one of the most important public issues of our time.”

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Diversity, Identity, and Rights (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Social Science Research Council (2006), Is Race “Real”, at, accessed 20 December 2016.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 5 February 2017.

Image: Social Science Research Council (2006), Is Race “Real”, at, accessed 20 December 2016.