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APNewsBreak: University accepted $ 458K from the eugenics fund

The University of Arizona has accepted years of funding from an infamous foundation to promote research linking race and intelligence, even after other universities and organizations, including white nationalist groups, stopped receiving support from the group, according to the records.

A professor of psychology at the University of Arizona used part of the money from the Pioneer Fund grant to pay for recent trips to a conference in London that included presentations on eugenics issues , according to documents that The Associated Press obtained through a request for public records. The eugenics movement has included theories on the controlled breeding of humans to "improve" the set of genes.

The Pioneer Fund was created by textile heir Wickliffe Draper in 1937 to, in the words of his original letter, advocate for "racial improvement." The organization has promoted eugenics and "race scientists" with financial support who argue that blacks are intellectually and genetically inferior to whites.

The private, tax-exempt foundation in Maryland gave nearly $ 7.8 million to 48 organizations or individuals from 1998 to 2016, including nearly $ 3 million to at least 22 universities in the United States and abroad. But the University of Arizona was the only university in the United States. UU Who received money from the group from 2011 to 2016, according to the tax records.

The University of Arizona received a total of $ 458,000 from the Pioneer Fund from 2003 to 2016. The foundation reported a contribution to the school in all years, but 2013 in that year. lapse. Specifically, the funds were requested and received by Professor Aurelio José Figueredo, who directs a postgraduate program for the study of human behavior and evolutionary psychology. The most recent tax returns are not available to the public, but Figueredo's resume states that he also received a $ 30,000 grant from the fund for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Faculty members are generally responsible for selecting the sources of their funds, and the university can not participate in "point of view discrimination" by accepting money from the grant, said college spokesman Chris Sigurdson on Friday.

"Teachers seek research funds from a variety of sources," he said. "The university does not usually restrict the source of external funds, but focuses on protecting open, free and competent academic research."

Figueredo said that the story of the Pioneer Fund was not a factor in his decision to request funding. He has renegade eugenics in one of his documents and says he does not believe in the concept of racial inferiority.

"The things I've written and the things I've researched do not lend themselves to that kind of use," he said. "I have done perfectly legitimate investigations that, by the way, have nothing to do with racial differences."

Figueredo said that "a lot of people" at the university approved their receipt of the grant money.

"People have been giving this up for years, and nobody has indicated there is a problem," he said.

Andrew Winston, a professor of psychology who teaches a class on scientific racism at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, said he believes it is morally unacceptable that the University of Arizona accept the money of the foundation. While the school must defend academic freedom, it also has an obligation to promote "human rights, equality and diversity," he said.

"Scientific racism backed by the Pioneer Fund is used by racial extremists around the world," he said in an email.

Figueredo used the Pioneer Fund money to travel to the London Conference on Intelligence, a meeting that included presentations on eugenics topics. Recent conferences were held at University College London, which said in January that it did not endorse the meetings and would investigate the content of the presentations.

Figueredo said that the London conference "is not about eugenics," included many published peer-reviewed research and can not be characterized "by a few presentations".


Figueredo has also served on the editorial advisory board of Mankind Quarterly. The magazine has often published material arguing that blacks are genetically inferior and express their support for the "racial hierarchy," said Bill Tucker, a retired professor of psychology at Rutgers University and author of a book entitled "Financing scientific racism: Wickliffe Draper and Pioneer Fund. "

"promotes scientific justification for racial separation," he said.

Figueredo said he has reviewed the Mankind Quarterly articles, but nothing about racially charged topics.

In 2009, Figueredo co-authored a document with the president of the Pioneer Fund at that time, J. Philippe Rushton. Rushton died in 2012, but in a document 10 years earlier, he rejected claims that the foundation promoted a racist political agenda.

Other educational institutions that have benefited from the Pioneer Fund include the University of Delaware, the University of Texas at Austin, Florida State University, Drexel University, the Baylor University, the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Missouri, the University of Illinois and the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Non-academic groups receiving funds include non-profit organizations operated by white nationalists, such as Jared Taylor's New Century Foundation, based in Virginia. Those groups received more than $ 300,000 in grants from the foundation over the past two decades.

But in recent years, Figueredo seemed to be the only scientific researcher who still accepted the money: his grants accounted for all the $ 90,000 in contributions listed in the IRS submissions. the founding of 2014 and 2016. Pioneer Fund President Richard Lynn and Treasurer Edward Miller We respond to email interview requests this week.

Georgia State University Law Professor Paul Lombardo, author of a 2002 article entitled "The American Race": Nazi eugenics and origins of the Pioneer Fund, "said that most of the scientists who received support from the foundation are retired or dead.

"I would have thought they were no longer in business," said Lombardo. "I would have expected the money to run out"

Figueredo said that he has not decided whether he will request more money from the Pioneer Fund later this year.

"If I thought I was hurting, I would stop instantly," he said. "But honestly, I do not think I've harmed anyone."

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