Richard A. Goldsby is an African-American immunologist who is a Professor of Biology at Amherst College, Massachusetts. In addition to his specialism, he has written on a variety of topics, including the social and biological significance of HIV/AIDS and of the human racial differences. He is a notable proponent of the view that races are biological, as opposed to social constructs.
Life and career
Goldsby received a PhD in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. He is an immunologist, interested in the cellular and molecular biology of the immune response, and has served as a Professor of Biology at Amherst College since 1982. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
His interest in the biology of race arose from efforts to understand the biological roots of the debates about a relationship between race and behavior and led to his publication of Race and Races (Macmillan, 1971, 2nd Ed. 1977). Goldsby argues that there are genetic differences between the races of man, as measured by different gene frequencies and that races differ in intelligence and behaviour through these genetic differences. However, in a 1993 review of Daniel Seligman's book A Question of Intelligence he wrote that "I find this book pernicious because its clear purpose is to infect readers with the view that both the established schools of behavioural psychology and human genetics consider it scientifically demonstrated that group differences in black-white IQs are largely genetic in origin. Such a demonstration has not been made and Seligman probably understands that it has not."
In 1988 he wrote Thinking AIDS in collaboration with anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson. They discussed the history of the conditions and its relation to social mores in America. They argued that a "magic bullet" against the condition would be very difficult to create, but that coercive methods to change patterns of behavior would be counterproductive.
Goldsby is also one of the authors of the Kuby Immunology textbook, the standard undergraduate textbook on immunology.
- Race and Races by Richard A. Goldsby. Review by: Jesse F. Clovis, Castanea, Vol. 36, No. 3, Sep., 1971, p. 227.
- Richard A. Goldsby, "The Myth of Genetic Inferiority" - A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America by Daniel Seligman, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Autumn, 1993, p.99
- Thinking AIDS, Kirkus Reviews
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