PIONEER FUND'S CONTROVERSIAL PROJECTS - 1989-11-16
A private foundation that has supported research into white intellectual superiority is now paying for research at the University of Delaware into the relationship between race and job performance. The controversial Pioneer Fund gave $174,000 to Delaware researcher Linda Gottfredson, who bristles at any suggestion that the fund influences her work. "They exert no control whatsoever. It's absolutely hands off," she told us. For that reason, she contends it is unfair to criticize researchers who take money from the Pioneer Fund. But some fellow academics have faulted her for taking money from a foundation that has supported researchers who conclude that whites are genetically smarter than blacks. The Pioneer Fund was established in 1937 in New York City, partly to finance the education of white descendants of settlers of the original 13 states, according to its certificate of incorporation. Lately the fund has concentrated on heredity research and "study into the problems of race betterment with special reference to the people of the United States." Its charter was recently changed to read "human race betterment." Gottfredson defended the fund and its president, New York attorney Harry Weyher. "The people who he funds are eminent figures," she said, conceding that they are controversial. Weyher told our associate Stewart Harris that the Pioneer Fund is not racist. Rather, he says, the fund focuses on "problems of heredity in the human race." He said the bulk of Pioneer Fund money goes into studies of twins who are raised separately. But that is not where all the money has gone. In the 1970s, the Pioneer Fund financed the work of the late William Shockley, a proponent of the theory that whites are more intelligent than blacks. Shockley had won a Nobel prize for his work in transistors. It also supported Ralph Scott, who, using the pseudonym Edward Langerton, toured the country in the 1970s giving anti-busing lectures. President Ronald Reagan appointed Scott to the Iowa Civil Rights Advisory Commission, but Scott resigned when historian Barry Mehler exposed his past. In 1981, according to federal tax records, the Pioneer Fund gave $59,000 to the Institute for the Study of Man here to buy and house the papers of Donald Swan. Swan was known for his studies into eugenics, and when police raided his New York apartment in 1966, they found a Nazi flag, a German helmet and a photograph of Swan with members of George Lincoln Rockwell's neo-Nazi organization. More recently, the fund has financed the work of J. Phillippe Rushton, a professor at the University of Western Ontario, who asserts that blacks fall behind whites and Asians on the evolutionary scale. Gottfredson's work has been published in reputable journals, but is also used by racists. A report on one of her presentations appeared in the publication of the National Association for the Advancement of White People, a supremacist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who now holds a seat in the Louisiana legislature. Gottfredson has been praised and criticized for her research. An industrial psychologist told us Gottfredson is willing to confront "issues we don't talk about in polite society."