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Sheffield University tells staff Charles Darwin was 'racist'


Sheffield University has created a handbook for students and lecturers in its science department to help 'tackle racial injustice' by 'reflecting on the whiteness and Eurocentrism of our science'.

As part of the guide, the department created a list of 11 'problematic' scientific figures - including Darwin - whose views 'influenced the type of research they carried out and how they interpreted their data'. 

An explanation next to the 19th century naturalist's name says that Darwin 'believed that his theory of natural selection justified the view that the white race was superior to others'.

The handbook says that the likes of Darwin must be historically caveated when lecturers teach his seminal theory of evolution.

It says his voyage on HMS Beagle, when he collected plant and animal samples, was to map colonies. 

It also suggests dropping the use of the terms 'founding father', 'idols' and 'geniuses' to avoid 'hero worshipping' scientific figures.

'UK science is inherently white, since the discipline developed from the European scientific enlightenment,' it adds. 'When viewed in this way, it is clear that science cannot be objective and apolitical.'

Other scientists named in the handbook include Julian Huxley, a supporter of the theory of natural selection who the Sheffield states 'believed that the lower classes were genetically inferior and should be prevented from reproducing and even sterilised'.

A University of Sheffield spokesman said: 'We are not removing key historical figures from our curriculum, but we are adding those who have also made significant contributions to the fields of maths, science and engineering that are not currently represented.'