A top university in the United States is now offering a class called “Afrochemistry,” with the intention of explaining alleged “inequities in chemistry and chemical education.”
As the Daily Caller reports, the class will be taught at Rice University from January 8th to April 19th, 2024. The class has no final exam.
“Students will apply chemical tools and analysis to understand Black life in the U.S. and students will implement African American sensibilities to analyze chemistry,” the course description states. “Diverse historical and contemporary scientists, intellectuals, and chemical discoveries will inform personal reflections and proposals for addressing inequities in chemistry and chemical education.”
“This course will be accessible to students from a variety of backgrounds including STEM and non-STEM disciplines,” the description continues. “No prior knowledge of chemistry or African American studies is required for engagement in this course.”
The announcement of the course led to backlash and mockery from academics and others, lamenting the latest example of politics and racial identity infiltrating a subject that has nothing to do with either. A Wall Street Journal op-ed said that such classes “are beginning to appear almost everywhere and are getting support and encouragement from the scientific establishment.”
Jerry Coyne, a biologist and professor emeritus at Chicago University, said that the course might as well have been advertised as “The Study of Black Lives Matter,” and denounced the class as an example of how the field of science has become poisoned by racial identity politics and “progressive activism.”
A private university founded in 1912, Rice University was ranked 17th on the list of best “national universities” in the country by U.S. News’ 2024 rankings.