An Army From Academe Tries to Straighten Out ‘The Bell Curve’

Richard Morin, Washington Post, January 16, 1995.


A small but growing army of American academics is on what may be a Mission Impossible: determining whether the statistics in the “The Bell Curve” are straight or crooked.

At the University of California at Berkeley, a team of sociologists is working to duplicate the statistical analysis in the controversial bestseller about class, intelligence and race. Graduate students at the University of Chicago are doing the same. A team of criminologists already has completed its analysis of a key portion of the data used in the book, which was written by political scientist Charles Murray and the late Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein. Two books and no fewer than four conferences on the book’s assertions are scheduled this year.

And now, the results are beginning to trickle in.

Washington Post