On This Day … 02 October

People (Deaths)

  • 2012 – J. Philippe Rushton, English-Canadian psychologist, theorist, academic (b. 1943).

J. Philippe Rushton

John Philippe Rushton (03 December 1943 to 02 October 2012) was a Canadian psychologist and author. He taught at the University of Western Ontario and became known to the general public during the 1980s and 1990s for research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and other purported racial correlations.

Rushton’s work was heavily criticised by the scientific community for the questionable quality of his research, with many academics arguing that it was conducted under a racist agenda. From 2002 until his death, he served as the head of the Pioneer Fund, an organisation that was founded in 1937 to promote eugenics and that in its early years supported Nazi ideology, for example, by funding the distribution in US churches and schools of a Nazi propaganda film about eugenics. The Pioneer Fund has been described as a white supremacist organization and designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Rushton was a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a onetime Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2020 the Department of Psychology of the University of Western Ontario released a statement stating that “much of his research was racist” and his work was “deeply flawed from a scientific standpoint”. As of 2021, Rushton has had six research publications retracted.

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