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Spross writes: "'Harvard students delivered a petition last week demanding an investigation into how a thesis built on those views and assumptions was able to make it through the approval process in the first place.' "

Pedestrians walk through a gate on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (photo: AP/Elise Amendola)
Pedestrians walk through a gate on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (photo: AP/Elise Amendola)

Harvard Students Demand Investigation Into Thesis on Hispanic IQ

By Jeff Spross, ThinkProgress

20 May 13


ver 1,000 Harvard students want to know how and why Harvard University’s JFK School approved a 2009 doctoral thesis arguing that Hispanics have lower IQs. The thesis was written by Jason Richwine, a co-author of a paper by the conservative Heritage Foundation that argued immigration reform would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. The discovery of Richwine’s paper by the Washington Post sparked a firestorm around the Heritage study, and several days later Richwine resigned from the think tank.

Harvard students delivered a petition last week demanding an investigation into how a thesis built on those views and assumptions was able to make it through the approval process in the first place. “Academic freedom and a reasoned debate are essential to our academic community,’’ the petition read. “However, the Harvard Kennedy School cannot ethically stand behind academic work advocating a national policy of exclusion and advancing an agenda of discrimination.” As of last Wednesday, May 15 the students had collected 1,200 signatures.

Several days ago, 24 student groups at Harvard wrote a letter condeming the university’s approval of Richwine’s dissertation, saying it “debases” all their degrees.

Richwine himself hit back at the students on Friday, suggesting their demands were an attack on free speech and academic inquiry. David Ellwood, the dean of the Kennedy School, defended the committee that accepted Richwine’s thesis as “highly respected and discerning.” George Borjas, one of the members of that committee, characterized Richwine’s work as “sound.” Borjas himself previously lent his pen to arguments against immigration on economic grounds.

Meanwhile, recently completed research failed to find an identifiable racial gap in IQ, and the entire assumption that race is a stable and reliable biological category suffers from its own problems. Even using IQ as a measure of intelligence often fails to acknowledge that what we mean by “intelligence” is itself dependent on historical and social context, and buffeted by a wide array of structural forces. your social media marketing partner


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+18 # Activista 2013-05-20 14:38
Not long ago it was IQ of blacks, now it is of Hispanics?
I wonder if Hilter used this tool what would be IQ of Jewish German population?
IQ can measure many things ... and many things are useful in different context.
Wonder what is the IQ of the Phd thesis and how he would do crossing Mexico to USA border compared to the "low" IQ of Mexicans.
-12 # HowardMH 2013-05-21 09:47
No it is not just the black or the Spanish it goes a lot deeper than that. This article said it much better than I ever could.

Perfect Quote
Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way that you can quickly understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper Prager Zeitungon
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president."
+3 # Activista 2013-05-21 14:43
I grew up in the Czechoslovakia - now Czech Republic ... VERY racist closed sick society.
When I was doing the business there as US citizen/busines sman - I had a business lunch with a computer scientist from India - and the bar did NOT let him in - because they thought that he is gypsy/Roma ..
Check Vaclav Klaus - former president - view on global warming - Czech President Calls Man-Made Global Warming a Myth ... › Blogs › Noel Sheppard's blog‎
Feb 12, 2007 – The most recent was Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic. ... Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and ...
+19 # dkonstruction 2013-05-20 14:42
To say that "the assumption that race is a stable and reliable biological category suffers from its own problems" is to suggest that it may have some flaws or internal inconsistencies but "problems" can be solved. Race as a biological category has been completely and thoroughly discredited. It simply is not an acceptable or scientific biological category for anything. To say anything less is to give Harvard and the jerk(s) behind this kind of pseudo-science intellectual cover. It is indeed outrageous that Harvard or any other institution of higher learning would in this day and age accept the category of race as a legitimate biological category for research of any kind. It is just this kind of garbage that enables big pharma to now market drugs based on race (e.g., marketing certain drugs as being for Afrcian Americans) when the whole concept is totally bogus (from a biological standpoint).
+15 # NAVYVET 2013-05-21 01:36
When was "Hispanic" ever a "race" anyway? It's a locational identifier, "South of the Border." The people are a mixture of European, Native American (Asian), and in some places African ancestry, depending on their individual heritage.

It isn't the first time Harvard was used as a dump for right wing drivel. There's the Business School--remembe r trickle down and that abysmal nonsense?
+5 # Activista 2013-05-21 14:44
Was not baby Bush typical product of this institution?
+19 # SheilaParks 2013-05-20 14:48
Harvard proves itself once again to be the training grounds for the ruling class. I am a Radcliffe grad and I was a townie when I went there.
+23 # CandH 2013-05-20 16:32
Harvard is notorious, in so many ways. Whether it's Larry Summers declaring woman are "inherently inferior" in math/science whilst Harvard's President, to economist Niall Ferguson claiming teh Gay can't be economists because they can't have children (his irrational argument against Keynesian economics no yet,) to the grooming of US puppets for foreign dictatorships (,) the place is known as an anathema to civilized humanity.
+9 # fliteshare 2013-05-20 21:53
My thesis:
"Harvard IQ no longer what it used to be".

I am looking for some peer review here.
+11 # ganymede 2013-05-20 22:09
Harvard doesn't quite measure up to Oxford, which is Britain's Harvard. How Bush could have gotten through graduate school there or this a-hole racist Richwein be taken seriously is way beyond me.However, many very distinguished and interesting people have gone through this school, but, nevertheless, you will always find some very backward people taken seriously at Ivy league type schools. People put too much faith in elitist education and not enough faith in ethics and morals. As a product of the Ivy League education mill, I find it really shocking that more graduates of our 'finest' schools are not able to see the mess we're in and trying to do more to get this country moving forward.
+9 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-05-20 22:22
I'll take an IQ test when ALL members of Congress do.
+18 # ligonlaw 2013-05-20 22:29
Why is a Harvard degree so highly regarded? So many famously stupid people come from their hallowed halls. Their dumb ass Hall of Fame would include George W. Bush, Justice Scalia, Larry Summers, Ted Cruz and Bill O'Reilly.
+8 # Doubter 2013-05-21 12:44
Bill O'Reilly went to school!?
-2 # tingletlc 2013-05-21 16:20
As an obscurely stupid product of those hallowed halls (and coincidentally, I find, a classmate of Radcliffe's SheilaParks) I offer my own take on Harvard. It's a large, populous and complex institution, not unlike the human race, or whatever considerable subset thereof you may think yourself a member. I'll spare us both an essay, but here are some bullet points.

1) I cringe to think — but I know it's true — that 1200 of my peers could sign a petition calling an academic institution unethical for failing to censor refereed research on account of either its thesis or its conclusions.

2) Persons assuming that Richwine's dissertation is in the first instance racist should note that the most prominent of his three referees is Jorge Jesús Borjas, an immigrant from Cuba. The prejudice here, if any, is likely to be against low IQs.

3) High up in the kit of assumptions I carried away from Harvard is that censorship is the worst idea possible in a community where you hope to learn something. There are enough smart but disagreeing people everywhere that we're better off trusting them to sort out their differences through free inquiry than trusting a third party to know when to shut them up.

[More to follow.]
-2 # tingletlc 2013-05-21 16:28
4) This one is kind of inside baseball: Harvard College is culturally different from the graduate schools, because the College population is mostly between 17 and 21, and still in the late throes of moral development. The graduate school populations pretty much know what they think, and are angling to turn their revelation into secular success. George W. Bush (Harvard Business School) is the moral product of his family and Yale College. Scalia (Harvard Law School) was an undergrad at Georgetown. Larry Summers (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) got his Bachelor's degree at MIT. Bill O'Reilly (JFK School of Government) went to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, then got a Master's degree at Boston University.

5) Deeper inside baseball: Harvard Business School organizes its instruction along the lines of executive teams addressing case studies. GWB was just smart and well-connected enough to be admitted, and enough of a player to plug into the genius of whatever team he found himself on. Individual brilliance not necessary.

6) Also: O'Reilly's notion that he went to Harvard is a thin construct. His notoriety got him invited for a post-graduate year in 1995/6, and he departed as a Master of Public Administration.
+3 # tingletlc 2013-05-21 16:31
[Last word.]

7) Your list barely scratches the surface of Harvards regarded as dumbasses by a significant fraction of the informed world. Judgments vary, but as a chagrined keeper of the flame of the College in particular, I lose heart each time I think of Eliot Abrams '69, Michael Barone `66, Lou Dobbs `67, Douglas Feith `75, Henry Kissinger `50, William Kristol `73, Grover Norquist `78, John G. Roberts, Jr, `76, Chuck Schumer `71, Chris Wallace `69, John Yoo `89, and a plethora of other practitioners of or apologists for public criminality. But they're handily outnumbered by what I take to be the good guys, many of whose names you'd also know.
+2 # MidwestTom 2013-05-21 06:34
I think that we should be allowed to study anything, it is the conclusions that count. With all of this excitement, what were the conclusions, and was the research solid? When I look at all of the Jewish people who are at the top of medical and other scientific activities, I have often wondered if they were inherently smarter, or simply more dedicated to education than most Americans.
+11 # dkonstruction 2013-05-21 07:29
Quoting MidwestTom:
I think that we should be allowed to study anything, it is the conclusions that count. With all of this excitement, what were the conclusions, and was the research solid? When I look at all of the Jewish people who are at the top of medical and other scientific activities, I have often wondered if they were inherently smarter, or simply more dedicated to education than most Americans.

Midwest Tom, I think you just proved my earlier point. Given that there are Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews what does it mean to talk about Jews as one race from a biological standpoint? It is a completely bogus concept. As is race in general. And, for the record and being a member of the tribe I can honestly and without any reservation say I have met just as many stupid Jews as stupid people from any other racial/ethnic group. So, the answer to your question (if it was one) is no, Jews are not "inherently smarter" but due to historical experience (in particular the fact that Jews were barred from owning land in much of it not most of Europe Jews were forced to seek other routes for economic advancement (e.g., banking, finance, commerce and education leading to other non-land owning based professions). But these are historical and cultural specific reasons rooted and have nothing to do with the completely bogus category of "race."
+5 # Phlippinout 2013-05-21 08:39
II would love some smart people to run our country, are there any left?
+7 # marilynrssll 2013-05-21 11:06
Be aware that there are Multiple Intelligences. Last I looked, there were nine types. Perhaps, at the present, more have been recognized.
The "traditional" IQ test was based on ONE type.

Just as an example: If a brilliant artist and a brilliant engineer were to take the same test..... do you really think they'd score the same? MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE!!
+7 # Regina 2013-05-21 14:58
The real problem with this degree is the absence of a demonstrable and verifiable data set on which conclusions could be derived and defended, not put forth in advance. As a professor (not at Harvard!), I'm appalled at the nonsense that got accepted there merely because it was handed in. The ivy is rotting at the roots.
+1 # barbaratodish 2013-05-22 23:46
All categorization, i.e., race, IQ, gender, ethnicity, class, even the term HUMAN, etc., is constructed. To transcend the constructedness in communication we need to INTUITIVELY FEEL, as well as become consciously, aware, that any AND all communication that has constructed categorization, limits us by polarization IN A DIALECTICAL "ME-OTHER" SENSE. Maybe we are all "fighting" each other needlessly. Maybe "AGEISM" (for instance an "undeclared "war" between the PERCIEVED to be "old" vs the perceived to be "young") is the biggest problem that prevents transcending limited communication. If we all demanded our human, etc., rights to PLAY insteed of (and/or in addition to) work, i.e., if we all demanded that EVERYONE, have at least the OPPORTUNITY to be allowed to turn any and all "WORK" into "PLAY", ie by allowing everyone to at least receive their basic needs, then we ALL could become free of the ego,drama limitations that make us consciously, subconsciously and/or unconsciously PROVOKE each other, i.e., with JUDGMENTS involving comparisons of intelligence, etc. Then, we could all transcend our limitations and cooperate instead of compete.

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