Quote: Phillip Tobias on the study of race

less than 1 minute read

I was doing research on another topic, and ran across an obituary of Phillip Tobias that I hadn’t seen: “Phillip Tobias, SA’s great scientist and human being, has gone back to earth”. I thought this direct quote from Tobias worth sharing:

In a society in which the question of race has come to loom as largely as it does in South Africa, there is, I believe, a positive duty on a scientist who has made a special study of race to make known the facts and the most highly confirmed hypotheses about race, whenever a suitable opportunity presents itself. I should be failing, therefore, in my academic duty, if I were to hold my peace and say nothing about race, simply because the scientific truth about race runs counter to some or all of the assumptions underlying or influencing the race policies of this country. In no field is the need of guidance from qualified scientists more imperative than in this very subject of race.

The rest of the article is really good, as it describes both Tobias’ work on fossil hominins and his activism against apartheid.

Earlier: “Paleoanthropologist Phillip V. Tobias dies”