Against Unesco: Gedda, Gini and American Scientific Racism


  • Francesco Cassata Department of Economics "S.Cognetti de Martiis", University of Turin, I


Corrado Gini , Scientific racism , Eugenics , Heredity


The aim of this article is to shed light on the ideological, institutional and intellectual connections between Italian eugenics and American scientific racism, from 1953 to 1967. The paper pays special attention to the scientific links between fascist demographer Corrado Gini (the first president of the Italian Central Statistical Institute - Istat), and geneticist Luigi Gedda (the president of the Gregor Mendel Institute in Rome and head of the Catholic political association Azione Cattolica) on the one hand, and on the other, the members of the IAAEE (International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics) and their journal, ''The Mankind Quarterly''. Corrado Gini and Luigi Gedda were both members of the honorary advisory board of “The Mankind Quarterly”, and Gini was also assistant editor in 1962. Despite the theoretical differences between the “neo-Lamarckians” Gini and Gedda, and the “Mendelians” Robert Gayre and Reginald Ruggles Gates – editor and associate editor of “The Mankind Quarterly” – the relationship grew stronger because of a sort of strategic alliance in the ideological fight against UNESCO's Statements on Race. The main source of the paper is Corrado Gini's personal archive, deposited in Rome at the National State Archive (ACS).