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WHAT’S RACIST TODAY: The Word ‘Caucasian’

A Stanford researcher has declared her fellow scientists’ use of the word “Caucasian” to be racist.


In an article published last month in Nature, a top scientific journal, Alice Popejoy argued that “too many scientists apply the term, either unbothered by or unaware of its roots in racist taxonomies used to justify slavery — or worse, adding to pseudoscientific claims of white biological superiority.”

  • According to Popejoy, a postdoctoral fellow studying biomedical data sciences, saying “Caucasian” gives scientific heft to what is really a socially constructed racial group.
  • “Decades of analyses have shown that ‘racial groups’ are defined by societies, not by genetics,” she said.
  • “Only the privileged have the luxury of opining that this is not a problem. As a white woman, I too have blind spots that need constant examination.”

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