The Science of Diversity


Weissmark, M. S. (2020). The Science of Diversity . Oxford University Press.


The Science of Diversity© (2020, Oxford University Press) uses a multidisciplinary approach to excavate the theories, principles, and paradigms that illuminate our understanding of the issues surrounding human diversity, social equality, and justice. 

Weissmark, assembles a rich array of research from anthropology, biology, religious studies, and the social sciences, among other fields to write a scholarly diorama of diversity.

This book, designed to be accessible to readers, contextualizes diversity historically, tracing the evolution of ideas about “the other” and about “we” and “them” to various forms of social organization, from the “hunter-gather,” face-to-face, shared resource model to the anomie of megacities.

Moreover, The Science of Diversity© explicates the concept of diversity, parsing its meaning over time, place, and polity—from ancient Greece to the time of Trump, from biblical parables to United Nations pronouncements.

Nevertheless, the connecting threads weaving this multidimensional work together are pulled from the field of psychology, and these help provide important structure to the ideas of diversity presented.

The book then brings these to the surface holistically, examining diversity on the individual, interpersonal, and international levels.

Most significantly, The Science of Diversity© is also prescriptive. Drawing on the author’s groundbreaking research work with the children of Nazis and the children of holocaust survivors, the book suggests that one potential antidote to ethnic strife lies in the pursuit of Kant’s mandate, sapere aude (dare to know), combined with the development of compassion.

To that end, the book explores the use of scientific thinking as one way we can dare to know “the other.”

Last updated on 08/28/2020