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November 24, 2020 - Gizmodo

A Black Biologist Pioneered Animal Intelligence Research, but His Work Was Buried

A Black Biologist Pioneered Animal Intelligence Research, but His Work Was Buried
Dr. Charles Henry Turner (prior to 1923)© Photabulous!

Black biologist Charles Henry Turner was doing groundbreaking research into animal cognition at the turn of the 20th century, yet his ideas never gained traction on account of racism and his seemingly radical viewpoint. Many concepts proposed by Turner are now accepted science, and a group of researchers to say it’s long past time to give credit where it’s due—and to avoid the mistakes of the past.

A new Perspectives essay published in Science describes the contributions of biologist Charles H. Turner (1867-1923), an American zoologist whose “early discoveries are forgotten for all the wrong reasons,” according to the paper’s two authors, Hiruni Samadi Galpayage Dona and Lars Chittka, both biologists at Queen Mary University of London.

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