Books et al.Science and the Law

The realities of race

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1137-1138
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0602

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  • RE: Race on the Brain

    I write to respond to Jerry Kang’s review of my book, Race on the Brain: What Implicit Bias Gets Wrong About the Struggle for Racial Justice. I normally do not respond to reviews of my work. I have received critical reviews of previous work that I disagreed with but accepted to be good faith critiques. This situation is different for two reasons. First, my concern about a potential conflict of interest in the review. Second, I believe this conflict has actually tainted the review, which I find to consistently mischaracterize my work in fundamental ways.

    First, as to the conflict of interest: in the initial version of the published review, neither Science nor Professor Kang disclosed that he is not a disinterested reviewer but rather a preeminent exponent of using the science of implicit bias to guide law and policy.

    After an inquiry from my publisher, Science offered a note at the bottom stating that “The author acknowledges that his own work is referenced extensively throughout the book. He has nonetheless strived to provide a fair and balanced review.” While I appreciate the effort at correction, the book does far more than merely reference Kang’s work, it takes it as one of its primary objects of critique. I believe appropriate scholarly practice demands a clear and forthright acknowledgement of this relationship to the material under review.

    It is more than a little ironic, that a scholar whose work is grounded in exploring how strongly...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.