Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Does (Should) Racial Counting Have a Future in America?

Kenneth Prewitt

Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs, Columbia University; Director of the US Census Bureau 1998-2001

February 23, 2009, 4:30pm-6:30pm
Starr Auditorium, 79 John F. Kennedy Street,Belfer Building, 2nd Floor


Since 1790 race statistics have been central to various policy regimes across American history. But the turn to immigrant driven diversity, identify fueled multiculturalism, and majority-minority demographics have rendered obsolete a taxonomy rooted in 18th century natural science. What today we are learning from racial statistics is not what we need to be learning.


Duana Fullwiley

Anthropology, Harvard University

Jennifer L. Hochschild

Government, Harvard University

Mary C. Waters

Sociology, Harvard University

Moderated by

Sheila Jasanoff

Harvard Kennedy School