Aug 20, 2010

Name of racist scientist remains on top

A Swiss mountain named after one of the most influential scientists of the 19th century will keep its name, despite his proven racism. The three communities bordering the mountain on Thursday rejected a petition signed by people from around the world calling for the name of Louis Agassiz, a key promoter of the Ice Age theory, to be removed from the mountain.

When Agassiz moved to the United States in 1846, he became a leading researcher and one of the world’s best-known scientists.

However, his belief in the separation of the races – while not an unusual position at the time – had a major impact on the debate about racial equality and slavery in the US.

The petition to have his name removed from the Agassizhorn, close to where he did some of his early glacial research, was rejected by the communities of Grindelwald, Guttannen and Fiesch.

The promoters of the petition claim that Agassiz was not only a promoter of racism but a forerunner of the supporters of apartheid in South Africa.

The petition demanded that the mountain be renamed Renty, after a Congolese slave.

The 3,946m Agassizhorn is within the perimeter of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Unesco World Natural Heritage Site. and agencies


texswiss, United States
Racism and bigotry have existed since primates began roaming the earth on two legs. Every group finds an external entity to blame for their own inadequacies. Ignorance and fear have no ethnic, racial or cultural boundries. While humans consider ourselves evolved, the only thing that has changed has been the target of our fear. It is no longer vogue to hate people because they have a different skin color. However fear of sexual orientation, religious, cultural, political beliefs, even weight have replaced the antiquated notions of discrimination.

Daniel, Turkey
Vera, racism and bigotry aren't a prerogative of a few stupid ignorant caucasian bigots only, though politically-correct mainstream-media outlets would love to have you believe so. In Arabic, the word used by its speakers, mostly obviously Arabs, to refer to black people are "abd" and "abed", the singular and plural forms of SLAVE in that language. But, just as when talking about slavery, the politically-correct narrative of the mainstream media only mentions the nearly 3 centuries of Western slavery, but never the much more brutal and bloodier 14 centuries of the Arab muslim slave trade, we cannot expect to be well-informed about all kinds of evil committed by all kinds of people on this planet unless we're willing to do a little more research on our own, instead of just being fed partial truths and often blatant lies by those intending to keep us ignorant.

Adrian, Switzerland
+1, I agree with Chris and James … and the people of Grindelwald, Guttannen and Fiesch. Dr Mo, Switzerland Abraham Lincoln held racist views by today's standards. And most men of the past held deeply sexist views of women. We can't hold people in the past to today's standards. Racism wasn't his main contribution, so let Louis Agassiz be remembered for his geological and paleontological work. Well done!

Eric, Sweden

It´s funny to see the political correct class demanding how we should change our past. Mr Agassiz was right. A mix of races in the same society isnt good. Just look at Sweden. We're the second country where rape is most common. Only in Lesotho, Africa, is there more rape per 100.000 inhabitant. Steven, United States Pretty much all reputable scientists at one time were racialists. It made sense then, just as it makes sense now. (...)

James, United States
I find it interesting that the world is so ready to discredit and attack anyone, even a well respected scientist, if they think that his findings or conclusions are considered racist. Chris, United States There is also a peak called "Mt. Agassiz" in Flagstaff, Arizona. It is also named in honor of Dr. Agassiz, who was one of the first academic botanists in the american west. A number of plant species are also named in his honor, including rare plants found only on Mt. Agassiz! I think the connection to eugenics is overdone. As a very prominent academic of his time, a professor at Harvard, Dr. Agassiz would have subscribed to eugenics on some level, simply to be able to do his work in Botany. Much the way we see academics in our own time forced to comply with the tenets of liberal political correctness.

Vera Gottlieb, Germany

And some 100+ years later the races still aren't united. It is still the Caucasian race looking down their collective noses at other cultures. Same old same.