Black In Neuro: Challenges in research and medicine – Corpus Curiosum (Series IV)
Talk by Dr Thiago Arzua, Columbia University
Neuroscientists sit at a unique position, studying the same organ that is responsible for so much of our personalities, thoughts, and opinions. It is not surprising then, that from its origins, interpersonal and societal issues were directly linked back to neuroscience findings. What sometimes is missed is how societal norms and expectations affect the research itself. In the case of systemic racial inequalities, that gets translated into poorly designed or poorly interpreted studies that tend to serve as tools for promoting racist policies. With that in mind, this talk will explore the historical origins and the modern-day forms by which what we call neuroracism takes place. From phrenology to eugenics, to still-believed myths of Black people’s higher tolerance for pain, neuroracism is not just persistent, as it is also prevalent. Understanding how these biases are formed, and what we can do as a field to combat them is essential for a more just and equitable neuroscience.
The Corpus Curiosum series was produced with the support of FENS Committee for Higher Education and Training (CHET)