Osagie Obasogie: Race, science, and policy

November 23, 2020 1:08:00
Kaltura Video

Osagie Obasogie discusses race, science, and public policy. November 2020.


               >> If you could tell us how you funded the story and how you funded it I have questions about how there could be a pond in the 21st century but maybe we will start there and then we can talk more about it.

               >> That was my initial reaction.  The school received an e-mail about the availability of funding for faculty members.  So it was described as a bond who had been there and they could apply it to have funding to support the e-mail.  I did not know how to respond so at this point I had been there for three years.  I talked to my colleagues and I said do you know about this in what's going on we met with the Dean and we decided to suspend the fund in order to have an investigation to understand what's going on.  So, that was the process but it was very productive.  We worked with the

               administration, to basically figure out what was going on and learn more about the fund and we decided that it was inappropriate and the school and the campus decided to start the process of acknowledging it as unappropriate and they apologized for it.

               So, that led up to the most recent article that came out in the Los Angeles Times that was a full disclosure of what we knew about the fun.  We publicly acknowledge the existence and what we needed to do.  Right now, we have a new Dean we have a leader and we begin a process a few weeks ago of connecting with the public health community and students and balcony and alumni and receiving bun back on their use of the funds.  So that.  It is about to close and they need to assess what the thoughts are and they will make a decision on how to move forward.  At the very least we will have some

               conversations and I think it is important to acknowledge the existence of the fund and also engage in some level of electric -- education so that as professionals we understand the role of eugenics and the legacy.  Also to have community conversation for people who are not necessarily in the Academy to get educated on the history.  We don't really talk about it.  When we do talk about it, we can covet as this odd idea that people in Germany had in the 1930s and they went too far then when we realize with a dead everyone moved away from it.  That is an accurate many academics were engaged and

               promoted the ideas.  In fact a lot of people in Germany in the 20s and 30s and the 40s actually looked to the United States for leadership on the idea.  So the tendency we have to frame eugenics as a Nazi idea, it does not fully acknowledge the role America played in acknowledging these ideas.

               We really need a public conversation and to really make sure that, we have a full understanding as we move forward

               >> I think it is worth emphasizing what you just said which is, this was only 40 years ago.  I'm wondering, and presumably this is not the first time an e-mail was sent out about it.  You said you only joined the faculty two years ago.

               >> That's a great question.  It's unclear what went on.  So there was a faculty member who had access to the funds.  One person, obviously knew about it but at the other time people on campus knew about it as well.  Your question is good and why did it take 40 years for them to realize this wasn't the best way to do it.  I don't have a good answer.  When I saw it I knew it was not something we could or should be a part of.  I am thankful that, the current Dean as really committed to using these funds for antiracist purposes.  He really wants to see the money being used to educate when you see

               people arguing the best way to approach the best covid-19 crisis is to let it spread and look forward to their immunity, what going on when you use it in that context where the idea is that we let the virus spread bills were weak will die and those who are strong will survive then we will go from there and pick up the pieces.  When we think the answer is simply allow the fittest to move forward and those who are weak to Paris, that idea in practice is connected to this sensibility.  We have to understand these ideas is we understand where it come from and we think of a way that we can do these

               kinds of problems.

               >> Obviously we started off with and I'm glad we did, I think for me, the question is, how do we, what are the steps to which we ensure that conversations like herd immunity or implicit messages of survival of the fittest, is made clear in policy conversation.  Is it about, my go to and probably yours, do we need to train more students to think about these connections.  I am wondering, how do we make sure when we are talking about public health interventions, that these legacies are top of the mind or part of the calculation?  Have you thought about this?

               >> Unfortunately I think too much about this.  This idea has been at the center of my career in terms of how do we make sure the history and the legacies are central to these public conversations that we have a law in place.  For me it starts with what I can control like education.  As an educator, I have the honor and privilege to teach students from different types of backgrounds.  I teach medical students, law students, different students from various departments.  Public health students.  What I find interesting is, when I teach I start with the eugenics movement.  It is an unusual way to

               start the conversation but I think it is an appropriate place to start.  I always ask, how many of you have heard about this.  And, it is always a handful of students who have heard about it.  The vast majority have not heard about it.  These are graduate students at an amazing university who have had great education opportunities and they are not familiar with it.  So if they are not, you can imagine what the rest of the country thinks about eugenics like policymakers and lawmakers.

               We have to have a very aggressive and large campaign on this.  This is connected to the general education around science in this country.  We have to understand the historical context in these legacies and how this particular moment, in American history has been influential.  Not only for public health and medicine, but when you think about social welfare, when you think about other aspects, these are all affected by the thinking.  In order for us to truly understand the damage that was done, we have to expose the history and expose the continuity of thoughts through past and present so we can

               have a better future.

               >> In addition to educational practices we have to have competent leaders who want tough conversations.  This is a very tough conversation to have.  It is hard to say that, the way we think of medicine and public health are connected to the practices that many engaged in back when.  One example I talk about is, I wrote an article a couple of years ago about Robert Edwards.  Robert is this, he is a Nobel lawyer he won the prize in 2010 for his work in developing IBF and the article I wrote was about how he had a very long and distinguished history is that you Genesis.  He was a member of bird

               -- Britain's eugenics society.  He wrote things that were horrific.  It shaped his entire career.  So for example he saw FB -- IBF to -- as an important platform to enhance people.  So this ability to manipulate the sperm is privacy that may lead to human enhancement.  So, this was someone who was all in and yet we celebrate him.  This is not to say IBF is a bad thing.  It has brought joy and happiness to many people but we have to understand, even these useful medical practice, have a history that we have to struggle and grasp with to make sure we are aware of that as we continue to

               understand the full impact tangents to link this conversation back to what we began talking about the eugenics fun.  I'm wondering what the role is for universities.  We are at a moment, at Michigan we have been talking about this for a while in terms of what are the criteria we should have in terms of who we employ what names should we have on buildings and what should we take out.  Whom should we take money, what are our standards.  What if I were tenured faculty is publishing this kind of work.  What is your guidance for universities.  I think that's an important arena of policymaking as

               well.  What do universities do what do institutions do to manage this eugenics legacy.

               >> This conversation as many layers.  On one hand you have the situation like what happened at USC when one of the former presidents, was eight you Genesis and said some horrific things and his name was on the building.  They decided to take that down a few months ago.  So, there have been other situations especially in California.  California has an unusual number of middle schools and high schools and institutions of learning who were named after people who follow eugenics.  So that's a conversation they will have to have in California.

               But what you are getting at is important.  That is an acknowledgment that there are people on the faculty that still buy into and promote eugenics.  That is the conversation we really need to get to.  For those of us connected with the University we know of a few people who have said or written things in line with eugenics.  When we do.  As a university and in the culture we want to promote free speech and intellectual thought and engagement so people can follow what they believed to be.  On the other hand, free speech does not mean hate speech.  It does not mean to say, you can argue and a

               certain proportion of the population should be eliminated.  That is a tough conversation.  My belief is that that is where the conversation will go over the next few years.  It is one thing for a university to say that a certain amount of funds should not be used, that is a straightforward conclusion to come to but how do we engage with faculty members who may continue to believe eugenics and use it as an academic perspective.  And to be clear this has been debunked and has little scientific merit to it.

               >> One idea in this general set of issues we have been talking about.  One thing you proposed, is the idea of race around policies, interventions and technologies.  I have been very taken by this idea, when you look at the policies, we have environmental assessments bears a lot of discussion about social impact, so this moment especially, this is the idea that could potentially get a lot of attention and traction.  I am wondering can you describe the idea and help us to understand how that might work?

               >> The idea of an impact assessment has been around for decades.  You see it in the field of environmentalism.  So the basic thought is that if you want to put up a building someplace, before you can be approved you have to put out some type of an assessment showing that the construction of a new building will not disrupt other environmental needs.  You want to show what you are doing won't have an adverse impact on the environment.  It is a tedious process but we do this because we have respect for the environment and we want to make sure, any development we put up does not have a bad impact.

               The idea behind it is that those people who want to construct these things, there intent is not to disrupt the environment but, they may inadvertently do so.  So we want to go to through the process so it doesn't happen.  The idea is that the overall impact may be one we want to avoid.

               Similarly, the basic notion is that whenever, and I talk about this in the context of race-based medicines and DNA forensics.  The basic issue is these are policies that are often engaged with some sort of government support.  When the government allows this like FDA approval for a race based medicine, before that medicine becomes available to the public, we should have some assessment of the impact that the FDA approval will have on multiple races in the society.  Tight when we think about the one that came out introduced -- 2005, the first race medicine for a racial group, this medicine for

               African-American suffering from heart failure.  Many thought this was a wonderful achievement.  The idea was if we have raised specific medicines we can target health disparities.

               The other side is the idea that once the FDA gets into the business of saying, that disparities and heart failure was driven by some type of inherent natural difference this gives credence to the idea that races biological and not a construction that we have been taught about.  The impact of the government getting into the business of reaffirming the rays could have a tremendous impact on all types of things.

               We have been down this road of biological rates in the past.  It has not turned out well.  This is the conversation around scientific racism and genetics.  We have evidence that the conversation turns out bad for committees of color.  Here we are in 2005, where the medicine was supposed to help the black community but the overall impact could've been detrimental.  So, basically it can be hopeful to let government know the impact of their approvals may be before these things hit the market.  That process could again, could lead to decisions that can be more thoughtful, more tailored, or

               perhaps, more people can decide not to use these things at all.  For the example I was talking about, the physician who developed it was a cardiologist who openly said, yeah I give this to my white patients.  But a lot of people talked about how this was a, not innovation, but innovation around marketing and out some of the goals around the development of the drug wasn't used to help but to extend the patent of the drug for another 13 years.

               These are the considerations you have to have before we go down this path and I think racial impact could be helpful.

               >> Do you think at this moment, obviously there has been thankfully, more attention to racial justice and racial inequity, with these high-profile deaths like George Ford and breonna taylor, does this create space for thinking about racial justice questions specifically in science and technology, specifically have you noticed that in terms on how people are responding to your work and ideas like race impact assessment.  Have you noticed the difference?

               >> Yes, I think the current moment that we are in, I think the awakening many people have had as been beneficial.  We have people talking about race in ways that they haven't before.  Because like the shocking video of George Floyd being strangled really hit people and there's no explanation for why it occurred outside of the fact that he was treated poorly because of his rights.

               That has led for people to realize how race can effect decision-making and other areas.  I have seen this conversation really take root and some of the other work I do around policing.  People have that conversation about how the police can engage in the behavior.  I have seen less of it with regards to my other work.  Part of that I think is that even after George Floyd, we continue to think about race and racism as individual interactions.

               For example, we think of the officer in the George Floyd case, we think of him as being an individual bad personal bad apple, he made a bad decision rather than thinking about the set of circumstances in laws and policies that allowed him to engage George Floyd it that way.

               So a lot of my work, is really trying to take emphasis off of the individual.  We clearly have to hold them accountable for what they do but we also have to understand that individuals do what they do because they are part of systems and structures that enable them to do those things.  When we think about qualified immunity which makes it hard to hold police officers accountable for what they do.  We think about other aspects of criminal procedures and criminal law that makes it hard to persecute -- prosecute police officers.  Those are the dimensions that put police officers in the the

               position where they can put their knee on someone's neck and I think about the consequences.

               Science has a similar conversation.  That is, what is it about what we do as people who work at sciences that tends to repeat certain outcomes that adversely impact people of color.  Rather than looking at it like individual scientists engaging in individual behavior we have to think of the patterns that are created by the messages that we use and the structures we engage in.  What allows that to happen in very predictable ways.  And at the very least we hope the George Floyd situation will allow people to make shift and think about the structures.

               >> If we were to think about centering racial justice as a public value in our science and technology policies, what should we advocate for?  What would our policies and our laws look like?  I think you have talked around this but I would love to see if you have more specific insight, that may be useful for those watching.

               >> We have to put the experience of people at the center of how we think about this.  This is really an issue around perspective and standpoint.  So, science is -- scientists themselves, is a perspective that is steep in the position of those in power.  We talked about the role of markets and capitalism.  So, for an example when you think about the distribution of the forthcoming covid-19 vaccines, so when we start having conversation about who has access first, there are a lot of ways to think about how do you prioritize your

               My concern is that in the context of this economy, we will think about who has funding as the people who get access first as opposed to those most vulnerable.  Some companies have made strong pledges to make sure people of color are 1st and that they have access for free.  Hopefully those commitments will come through.  But, basically since of social justice would suggest the first people to receive the vaccine, will be first responders, those on the frontline in those communities where we see the sprint happening at horrific rates.

               Part of the reason these communities are vulnerable, they tend to be communities of color because of the structural circumstances surrounding poverty and lack of resources that put people in a position to be more likely to contract the coronavirus.

               These aren't the type of conversations we have to have in terms of who has access first.  Again, there have been some hopeful signs that things could lead in that direction but we have to make sure we prioritize those experiences first.

               >> Do you worry at all, you probably remember this from early on.  I think it was in April or May.  I think the months are rolling -- running together at this point.  But I remember early on there was an article that came out from a number of physicians, I forget where it was published but it was a medical journal where they were linking the increased vulnerability amongst communities of color and making some vague handwaving towards the biological racist race.  How do we manage Matt -- that collects on one hand you want policies that help the most vulnerable communities due to structural

               inequalities and bias but often these are communities who are working on the front lines.  In the process of doing that, it could also inadvertently serve to reinforce erroneous ideas about the biology of race.  How do we swear that in a way that does not do harm in the process?

               >> That is a fantastic question.  This is part of the reason why, it is important for my work and as a scholar to engage folks in medicine and Public health.  That is because, I taught our law school for eight years.  Then I came over to the joint medical program in 2016.  What has always really surprised and shocked me is the extent to which notions of biological rates continues to be prevalent in health.  You have really smart accomplished people who still talk about race in biological terms.  That is to say they think of race as being a risk factor for certain diseases of the same

               consequence as other biological known resources.  You will hear people talk about these risk factors in variables in a way that race will be like age or pre-existing conditions which are known biological barriers and races thrown in there as if it is biological but it is more social and political.

               This is an entrenched problem in medicine and public health.  When we come back to the original question which is how do we make sure the conversation around covid-19 is used in an appropriate way, we have to have a consistent message around what makes people susceptible or vulnerable to covid-19, it's not necessarily anything biological, but it is about the social conditions that people of color have been put in connected to social patterns.  That is to say, that it is the environmental places and spaces people find them and connected to legacies and history of racism.  That is what makes

               people vulnerable to covid-19, not anything biological with regards to natural susceptibility is what I'm saying.

               I think another fascinating part of the conversation, if you can remember back in February and March when we talked about writing things down and the conversation around covid-19 was much more of a coherent concern of everyone being infected.  Then late March An early April we got some initial figures about who was dying from covid-19.  That is the first time we started to see older people and people of color.  That is where we started to have a conversation about reopening America.

               Adam sewer who writes, he had a great piece about this.  He said the eugenic sensibility around the message.  Once we had initial data showing it was older people and people of color who were dying from this, there was a sentiment coming from the administration who said these are people who don't matter.  If other white or middle-class or upper class are not being infected let's just keep this thing going.  And that is another way we see eugenics play out.

               These are policy choices being made with regard to prioritizing economic growth and development over the lives of the most vulnerable people.  When you engage in policies like this you are saying certain lives do not matter.  Lives that are already disregarded and not seen as worthy, once they are exposed to the disease.  The policy was, let it run its course.

               So, again, it comes back to the original conversation about why it is important to have conversations around eugenics and making connections about choices we see being made.

               >> I have lots of questions but so does the audience.  So, I want to get to those.  For those of you who have not asked those questions you can do so in the Q&A.  I will start with this one.  We are seeing a growing number of declarations of racism as a public health crisis.  In Michigan, the governor assigned such a declaration in August.  So, what do you think about these actions.  They are symbolic and symbolism is important but it is symbolism.  Perhaps not necessarily linked to concrete policy actions, how can it translate to policy action?  Especially, we are at a moment where people are

               really energized, so what can they advocate for, like for example if the governor has said this, what is the next step we may see students or faculty or community members advocating for?

               >> Yes, a great first step.  I am waiting to see what people will do after this.  This is an acknowledgment of something that a lot of scholars of color has said for decades.  Racism is a public health issue that affects people lives and their lifespans as well.

               So, I am happy to see people acknowledge this but I am less sure that we will see meaningful steps come out of this from the public health community.  In part because the public health community itself is steeped in the history and logics of how it does its work that maintains the status quo.  That's to say we have to rethink the way we do public health if we're going to take seriously that racism is in a public health problem.

               The conversation I have with my students, to get back to eugenics, many of the statistical methods we use in public health and other sciences were developed by eugenics for eugenic purposes.  We can't ignore that as if it doesn't matter because it becomes uncomfortable to think the very tools we use as civil science to measure social phenomenons, that was developed in the 20s and Thursdays -- zero sow two reproduce certain groups and discourage reproduction of the groups, unless we think about what that means, then, it is hard to think about what it means to move forward in a manner that

               acknowledges that and encourages us to develop new tools that are supportive of all groups rather than using tools that replicate some of the ideologies that were designed to look at the health and well-being of all people.

               >> Go ahead.

               >> So, this is why I am concerned.  I think those conversations about the structure of the field have to be addressed.  We can say racism is a public health problem that is a great sentiment, but unless we engage the structural problems in terms of how we go about doing our work, unless those are addressed we are not taking seriously the more critical revelations.

               >> Just on this point, one of the questions here, is directly tied to that.  What are some ways the faculty today frame or disguise eugenics views to be more scientific than hateful.  I know you read Angela book and she talked about how some scientists talk about I am not political, I just followed the data.  You are still hearing a lot of that.  So eugenics isn't is hiding in plain sight in those places.  It's hiding in plain sight to a large degree as well as in statistics, what does that mean for what should we look for all of us as concerned people what should we look for cracks how do we

               recognize it.  How do we call it out.  One of the things that would be very useful is I often see people who recognize it but they don't know how to approach their professor or their PI to say listen, this is eugenicists and this is why it is problematic.  Do you have ideas on how this happens and how we may be able to take this smaller policy step to address it?

               >> It is a huge problem.  I think the way it manifests itself is that we still continue to have a deep commitment to the way we teach things.  So, for example a lot of scholars in my department, they do fantastic work but they are cautious and the assumption is we can understand a social phenomenon by observing it and collecting data and then the data tells us what is going on.  The surface level and assessment is how something becomes impactful.  So the critique has been around for hundreds of years.  This is the notion that we have to think deeper about underlying causes beyond what is

               immediately observable.  Unfortunately, too many social sciences and life scientists still continue to embrace this spirit what that means is that, we collect data around disparities and we see a gap between whites and Blacks, the positive responses that, there is a different spirit there is a gap.  It must be something inherent to the people or groups themselves.  That lends itself to a certain frame of thinking and ideology that allows white supremacy ideas to come without engaging deeper and how these caps are connected through histories and legacies that produce differences between various

               social groups.  So rather than seeing them as a natural reflection, seeing out these distinctions and gaps are produced by ongoing social economic and political mistreatment.

               So, that is how these things get reproduce.  I think the moment of intervention is, also difficult particularly if you are a grad student and you are trying to get a PhD.  That is not a position of power to rock the boat.  You are being asked to replicate in a sense what has been done in your field for many decades.  In particular was being done in the field now, so you can get your PhD and get into your current job.  Once you have your job that is not a space that is walkable because you're trying to get tenure.  Once you get tenure, again, not really rocking the boat because you want to

               become a full professor.  By then you are so entrenching your ideas in your career, again, it may not be the best time to go about those things.

               This is how academia reproduces this spirit this is how eugenics is reproduce.  All of the incentives within the academy, again there are incentives to be innovative and do things new but many are in a way to keep things moving, keep things going in a particular direction so that your career advances.

               We have to find opportunities to change the incentives so people can think about ways to intervene so that we can move things in a different direction.

               An example I teach a class here, the classes designed for grad student so they can have a critical understanding of what social science methods do.  Understand what comes out of the tragic history we've been talking about.  And what does it mean to bring critical theory into the conversation.

               That is to say, critical race theories, disability theories, queer theories, working that bring to the way we collect and analyze data so that we can't do it in a way that is responsive to the theoretic contributions be made by the field but allows us to be adequate and robust in the way we collect the data.

               My hope is that will write a context for their graduate students to supply the tools we need.

               >> That course, you mentioned this to me earlier, before we began the webinar.  That is a course for medical student sometimes.  So that is really about, training practitioners.  Potential, this theory is open to everyone on campus.  I do have some medical students but I also have PhD students and law students.  I do teach a version of the class for medical students as well.  It is a little different but we do some of the same principles.

               >> So, one of the things we're doing at Michigan, we have been involved in conversations to try to rethink the undergraduate curriculum at the core of the curriculum given how, there's all of this concerned about AI and more.  Because, I think one of the things as I mentioned before, we have a program and these things are essential to that but that is an opt in program.  Those are students who often go off and become part of science and technology policy in institutions but the challenge I think is how do we integrate this way of thinking this complexity of thinking at a curricular level.

               The second is and I am wondering what you think of both of these things for the models that you like.  Part of the challenge is there is a perceived simplicity to the bile observation of race or the idea that we can techno fix whatever the problem is and the structural, historical, legal interventions that you were talking about, are the polar opposite of those things.  So, when we think about how do we educate whether it is getting physicians or biologists or practitioners, there -- I don't know if there is resistance but, there is a frustration that there is not a tool they could pick up and

               go on their merry way.  Especially if you are forcing them to do this.  Have you seen models of this kind of, this kind of talking to them about this complexity or engaging with this complexity around issues of racial injustice?

               >> Nothing comes to mind immediately.  It is a complex issue.  On one hand we have to deal with often times, these are departments in the schools that are not necessarily stellar with the university on multiple lines in terms of gender, race, nationality.  So, it is hard to get people to acknowledge there is a problem.

               Once you have an acknowledgment of a problem then there can be a difficult conversation around acknowledging that science itself is political.  Science promotes its own ideologies.  And that we have to diss embed the political nature and ideas of science in order to reconstitute it in a manner that is based in includes equity inclusion.  That is a very uphill battle to have.  To suggest that the scientific method itself as its own ideology go commitment that is geared more towards whiteness instead of inclusion.

               This is the work we have to do.  This has to be as much of the curriculum as any type of technical training that we can provide.  If we produce the next generation of scholars and professionals who are not aware of this history then we are going to repeat the same problems over the next few decades.  The only way we can disrupt that is to have conversations in the Academy 1st and allow -- make sure the next generation will believe the work they do.

               >> Do you have book recommendations in terms of, of course I have to shout out Alexander Stern's work.  She is a professor at the University of Michigan who has written on the history of eugenics.  I'm wondering if you have favorite books about, how it is informing U.S. policy today.  If people really want to understand the legacy of eugenics and policy, are there touchstones for you?  Dance yes, of course anything by that term.

               >> I wholeheartedly endorse that.  And probably the most assessable.

               >> We have vendors of eugenics and one book connects it to the impact on how we think about reproductive genealogy.  We have a new set of technologies that, that have the potential to have the outcome that one can only dream of.  So within the next few years be able to create children with selected types and trades and intelligence and all type of things.  And Edwin Black put their predicament in his oral context for us to think about what policies do we need to implement to make sure these eugenic ideas don't become normalized as the way we do reproduction going forward.

               That is where I would start.

               >> Great.  A couple of more questions.  One, to go back to this eugenics fun and the role of the family -- philanthropist, and universities, well, first I am curious whether you know whether or not there are similar funds elsewhere in the U.S. working.  But, even more generally, the question asked, what do you suggest the staff and students do to see a list of the funds available to the department to check whether rehab funds supporting eugenics, what might an organized effort to catalog eugenics funds look like.  I might even expand it to our conversation about buildings and peer-reviewed

               papers.  I think there is a lot we could include.  When you were looking at the fund, do you know anything else about the landscape?  Are there similar funds?  How may people go about trying to discover this information corrects

               >> The Fern -- the fund at Berkeley was unique because of its goals.  We received some of the original documents.  In terms of the things set up to facilitate research on the improvement of the human race.  It was very explicit.  So, I am not aware of other universities that have funds like this but, I think as we move forward we will want to pay attention to the research people do.  I think it will be rare that the funding mechanisms will be that explicit.  But when you peel things back, you can see a similar ideology going on in certain research efforts.  That is what we have to pay

               attention to.  So thinking about, trying to pay attention to resources that try to change this and not show who people are inherently.  Whenever you see research going in that direction we need to think seriously about what those findings mean and how those findings will be used and recognized as a way to suggest why certain people should be supported and other people should not.  That is the trajectory we want to keep our eyes on.

               >> This goes to another question which is, whether or not, are we actually in a resurgence of race-based medicine.  There seems to be a lot of AI predicting personality from base shapes there were a few that were shown on twitter.  Is that just more attention to the same problem or is the problem growing.  Maybe with AI tools they go back to the same pattern of decentralizing rates.

               >> I think it is growing, in part because we have a generation of researchers who who have been trained outside of this historical context.  So they are rediscovering the difference and naturalizing it.  So that is why you have people using AI to discover the difference that magically aligned with grace and then race is a causal factor rather than understanding the underlining conditions.  So it's actually happening and we have to continue to call it out for what it is.

               >> Okay we have a few minutes left so I will ask the final question.  It is, how can policymakers and scientists work together to improve science communication.  I would add science policy that is sensitive to racism and eugenics?

               >> Number one, we need to hire more people like you.

               >> I agree.

               >> And you Osagie Obasogie.

               >> The truth is that you are not, there are not a lot of us in the Academy.  Not nearly enough.  And people that's right we need to train and hire people who do this kind of work so they can be colleagues of people who are doing more traditional work so that these conversations can happen.

               We also talked about curricular changes.  Too often, we allow people to get PhD's without having a serious class or conversation about ethical context and that is not that's right acceptable.  That is creating a poor economic -- academic x-rays.  Even if departments do not have, faculty member who can talk about the issue directly, until that has grown, before you get a PhD, or life sciences, maybe you should take a few classes in African-American studies or women's studies, maybe that should be a key element to get a degree from these departments.  Unless you are in a space where you have

               these conversations, people cannot imagine how their work may be implicated in a way that makes the problems worse.  You have to dedicate resources to make sure the faculties are more diverse and that curricular demands are rigorous not only in technical development, but also rigorous to make sure people have a full understanding of the social amplifications.


               >> On that note, it is 5:00 p.m.  I want to thank you very much.  You don't get the thunderous applause if you were in Ann Arbor today.  But you will get mine.  And it to our audience, thank you very much for joining us today.  And, you can as you see here in the chat you can join us for our next event which is digital contact tracing, an unlikely policy story with Aaron Simpson who is the director of technology policy on Monday December 7 at 4:00 p.m.  The link to register for that event is in the chat.  Think you again Osagie Obasogie, it was amazing to talk to you.  I'm sorry we could not

               do an in person but I look forward to many more conversations.

               >> Thank you.

               >> Goodbye pants goodbye.