EDITORIAL

Evidence for opportunity

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Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 359
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8999

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Summary

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” So concluded a 1968 report by the Kerner Commission, established by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the race riots of 1967. Not only did the report shine a spotlight on America's unfulfilled promises, it spurred action by politicians and policy-makers. Fifty years later, it is fair—and necessary—to ask if anything has changed. Healing Our Divided Society, the 2018 sequel to the Kerner report, argues sadly that gains of the 1970s and early 1980s are evaporating or reversing. But, noting the role of empirical evidence in bolstering past reforms, the new report suggests hopefully that “the quantity and sophistication of scientific information available today far exceeds what was available [in 1968].”