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Battling bias

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Science  19 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6339, pp. 686-689
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6339.686

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  • RE: Battling Bias and Prejudice

    Any serious effort to counter bias and prejudice will falter as long as we
    discourage ourselves from knowing, and acting from such knowledge, that,
    historically, these false views of 'the other' have been and are actively
    encouraged. A poisonous modern example is the infamous Southern
    Strategy put into place to deliberately play upon preexisting prejudices
    and provincial biases in the United States, for the purposes of the big
    lie. These directed, powerful social-political technologies belie the milder
    notion that most bias and its effects stem from inevitable and natural
    phenomena which will 'always be with us'...which assumptions foster a
    a deepening, yet avoidable, sense of discouragement about the ancient
    problem itself. One must always keep in mind the penetrating question:
    Who does this particular phenomenon serve? What social, political and
    economic engines might exist that directly or indirectly benefit? This is
    indeed, stripped of its details, a very useful mode of inquiry in evolutionary
    dynamics itself.

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Battling Bias

    I have PhD and MBA (University of Chicago) spent my career life working and consulting in science related jobs and education. I consider myself center of the road politically but getting more and more disgusted with the direction the country is moving, talking about the supra polarization by media and politicos on both sides. In re to this article, Battling Bias, I strongly object to AAAS and the Science magazine and related publications stepping into political discussions. I likely will not renew my membership / subscriptions. Science, the field that is as well I think AAAS/Science has its hands full enough to assure the integrity of the papers it publishes are worthy and especially reproducible; and assuring that progress of capital S - Science progresses based on proving hypotheses and not beliefs and poll counting. It is a fundamental aspect of the Scientific Method.

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Battling Bias

    Jane Elliot (Blue Eyes -Brown Eyes experiment, the day after MLK's assassination April 4, 1968) seems to have been missed in this article. Yes, I am aware that this article only addresses the concerns of refugees populations, but African Americans are in a sense reverse refugees, ie, stateless and without viable, long-lasting avenues towards true acceptance by the dominant white race in America.
    One of the largest barriers that blacks have to try to surmount living in America is the depiction of African Americans in media. I cannot personally relate to the idea that there are some white people in America that cannot "look African Americans in the eye" out of shame. That has reflex has largely been my experience with ether white men and especially not white women. It it important to note that I am a sixty-nine year old black female who has resided in multiple communities across America and I have been married to a Polish American for the last fifty-one plus years.
    As a private tutor to a largely Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese community of students (high school, college and graduate school students) I have experienced minimal prejudice, especially when compared to my experiences with white people and their various communities be it business, religious and or academic. I have never lived in a ghetto or government housing and for the most part, as an ex- high school teacher, I am relatively educated.
    Being the parent of bi-racial children and...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.