'Racist' academic given ethics post

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The Independent Online
Christopher Brand, the self-proclaimed "scientific racist", has been appointed to head an Edinburgh University ethics committee, just months after stormy student protests over his theories on race and IQ.

The psychology professor, who believes blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites, and that single mothers are stupid and should be "encouraged to breed with higher IQ males to escape the poverty trap", is now to lead the department's eight-member committee which assesses the ethics of students' research projects.

The university rector, Dr Malcom MacLeod, wrote yesterday to the Dean of Social Sciences, Professor DN MacCormick, demanding an investigation. He said: "If I were a single mother and you were a bright young Caucasian male, and we were both putting proposals of equal complexity to the board, I might well be worried that he would tell me that I wasn't up to it."

Professor Brand responded: "It is a fair point. I think some people would feel that they would not wish to have their cases adjudicated by me. But I'm only a racist in the scientific sense."

Last spring, third-year students boycotted Prof Brand's lectures in protest at his book, The g Factor, which made a scientific case for racism, and claimed men were significantly more intelligent than women. The Commission for Racial Equality condemned his work, and the outcry prompted his publishers to withdraw to book.

Chris Oswald, director of Fife Racial Equality Council, said:"The university appears to want to make itself a laughing stock. Why didn't they go the whole hog, and put him in charge of equal opportunities as well?"

The third-year students at the centre of last spring's protest received a letter just a week ago from Prof MacCormick, assuring them that steps had been taken to "bring about an improvement in the situation" regarding Prof Brand. "This is the last you will hear of this present matter," he wrote. It is these same students whose fourth-year projects will now be assessed by the racist professor.

Prof MacCormick confirmed yesterday that an inquiry was underway, the results of which would be announced later this week.