British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Channel 4 season on science and race

Channel 4 will be exploring the controversial relationship between science and race in a new season of documentaries, beginning on 26 October with  RACE AND INTELLIGENCE: SCIENCE’S LAST TABOO.  The season will also include programmes covering topics including human zoos of ‘uncivilised savages’, plastic surgery and race, and the possible biological advantages of being mixed race.

A highlight of the seasion will be a re-creation by former US schoolteacher Jane Elliott of the shocking exercise she used forty years ago to teach her nine-year-old pupils about prejudice. She will be asking thirty adult British volunteers – men and women of different ages and backgrounds – to experience inequality based on their eye colour, to show how susceptible we still can still be to bigotry, and what it feels like to be on the other side of arbitrary discrimination. The exercise, to be broadcast on 29 October, will be observed throughout by two psychologists who will comment on the behaviour displayed.

The Find DVD section of the BUFVC website lists four programmes on Jane Elliott’s eye-colour experiment on children and adults, and some of her follow up work on prejudice. Individual titles are: THE EYE OF THE STORMA CLASS DIVIDED, BLUE-EYED and THE ANGRY EYE.  All four titles are available for sale on DVD or video from Concord Media.

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