OMSI Hosts “RACE: Are We So Different?”

24 Sep

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland will launch a new exhibit titled RACE: Are We So Different? on Wednesday September 26th.  OMSI briefly describes the exhibit:

“Looking through the eyes of history, science, and lived experience, RACE explains differences among people and reveals the reality – and unreality – of race.  Challenge how you think about our differences and our similarities.”

I’m excited to see that this exhibit will emphasize the dual nature (or, rather, the nature/culture) of race.  Race remains one of the most popularly misunderstood aspects of human biology; it is effectively biologically meaningless, but culturally significant as an idea that is assumed to have some biological basis.  In other words, “race” is only as real as we, as individuals and societies, choose to make it.

If you live in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon I highly recommend this new OMSI exhibit. If not, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) Statement on Race, the video series Race: The Power of an Illusion, and Jared Diamond’s classic (1994) Discover Magazine article Race Without Color are excellent resources on the anthropology of race.

RACE: Are We So Different? is a project of the AAA, funded by the Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation.

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One Response to “OMSI Hosts “RACE: Are We So Different?””

  1. jayfancher 11/12/2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Had a chance to briefly peruse OMSI’s race exhibit today. Can’t say that I had the full interactive experience because I had an impatient one-year-old in tow…but it looks like an excellent exhibit, bringing to life much of the same information that I present in my cultural anthropology classes. Go see it!

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