J. Philippe Rushton

J. Philippe Rushton bigraphy, stories - Canadian psychology professor

J. Philippe Rushton : biography

December 3, 1943 – October 2, 2012

Jean Philippe Rushton (December 3, 1943 – October 2, 2012) was a Canadian psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario who became known to the general public during the 1980s and 1990s for research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and other apparent racial variation. His book Race, Evolution and Behavior (1995) is about the application of r/K selection theory to humans.

Rushton’s controversial work came under attack within the scientific community for the quality of the research,See, for example:

  • Francisco Gil-White,
  • Douglas Wahlsten (2001)
  • and allegations that it was racist.See, for example:
  • Knudson P. (1991), A Mirror to Nature: Reflections on Science, Scientists, and Society; Rushton on Race, Stoddart Publishing (ISBN 0773724672) pp 6, 168
  • , Haddad, Angela T.; Lieberman, Leonard, Teaching Sociology, v30 n3 p328 41 Jul 2002 From 2002 he was head of the Pioneer Fund, a research foundation accused of being racist.See, for example:
  • Avner Falk. Anti-semitism: a history and psychoanalysis of contemporary hatred, Abc-Clio, 2008, pg. 18
  • William H. Tucker, The funding of scientific racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund, University of Illinois Press, 2002
  • Andrew Wroe. The Republican Party and Immigration Politics: from Proposition 187 to George W. Bush, University of Illinois Press, 2008, p. 81
  • , Bethune Institute of Anti-Fascist Studies, 2003

Rushton was a Fellow of the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations and onetime Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.


Press coverage

Rushton prompted controversy for years, attracting coverage from the press as well as comments and criticism by scientists of his books and journal articles.

The Canadian press reported that in interviews, first-year psychology students who took Rushton’s classes said that he had conducted a survey of students’ sexual habits in 1988, asking "such questions as how large their penises are, how many sex partners they have had, and how far they can ejaculate."Charles Lane, , New York Review of Books, Vol. 42, Number 5, March 23, 1995 First-year psychology students at the University of Western Ontario are required "to participate in approved surveys as a condition of their studies. If they choose not to, they must write one research paper. Also, many students feel subtle pressure to participate in order not to offend professors who may later be grading their work. However, if a study is not approved, these requirements do not apply at all." For his failing to tell students they had the option not to participate in his studies without incurring additional work, the university barred Rushton for two years from using students as research subjects. He had tenure at UWO.

In 2005 Rushton was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen as blaming the destruction of "Toronto the Good" on its black inhabitants., The Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa: Oct 1, 2005. pg. A.1. In the same article, Rushton was reported as suggesting that equalizing outcomes across groups was "impossible." The Southern Poverty Law Center called the piece "yet another attack" by Rushton, and it criticized those who published his work and that of other "race scientists"., Southern Poverty Law Center

Academic opinion

Many scientists have commented on Rushton and his work.


In a 1991 work, the Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson (one of the two co-founders of the r/K selection theory which Rushton uses) was quoted as having said about him:from Knudson P. (1991), A Mirror to Nature: Reflections on Science, Scientists, and Society; Rushton on Race, Stoddart Publishing (ISBN 0773724672)pg 190

In a 1995 review of Rushton’s Race, Evolution and Behavior, anthropologist and population geneticist Henry Harpending expressed doubt as to whether all of Rushton’s data fit the r/K model he proposed, but nonetheless praised the book for its proposing of a theoretical model that makes testable predictions about differences between human groups. He concludes that "Perhaps there will ultimately be some serious contribution from the traditional smoke-and-mirrors social science treatment of IQ, but for now Rushton’s framework is essentially the only game in town."Harpending, Henry. , 1995. In their 2009 book The 10,000 Year Explosion, Harpending and Gregory Cochran later described Rushton as one of the researchers to whom they are indebted.Cochran, Gregory and Herny Harpending (2009). The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilizations Accelerated Human Evolution. New York: Basic Books, page xii.