BU anthropologist to discuss the science of race

For Immediate Release

Date:  April 14, 2006


BLOOMSBURG— The science behind race and skin pigmentation will be the subject of a lecture at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the Andruss Library Schweiker Exhibit Room.

Sponsored by BU's Institute for Culture and Society, the lecture is open to the public free of charge. 

Conrad Quintyn, assistant professor of anthropology, will present, “The Existence or Non-Existence of ‘Races’? A Forensic Anthropological Perspective.”  


Quintyn’s talk will focus on race from a forensic anthropological point of view. According to Quintyn, physical characteristics such as hair form, nose shape and skin color are often considered racial traits by forensic anthropologists. But opponents argue that these traits are adaptive and found in multiple populations. For example, Africans and Melanesians share similar skin pigmentation and hair texture, but are considered two different “races.” In his own research, Quintyn has found many overlapping characteristics, including skin color, among sample groups.

As part of his lecture, Quintyn will discuss the importance of allowing forensic anthropologists to define race accurately. He will also address the importance of educating future generations about the complexity of human variation and the science of skin pigmentation. 


Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students and offers 65 bachelor’s, 17 master’s and one doctoral degree.