'Shocked' VUB suspends collaboration with researcher quoted by Buffalo terrorist

'Shocked' VUB suspends collaboration with researcher quoted by Buffalo terrorist
Left: VUB campus, right: researcher Michael Woodley. Credit: VUB

The Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) has been left ‘shocked’ at a petition which pointed out how a researcher working with the university had been quoted by the Buffalo far-right terrorist who killed 10 black people in the US two weeks ago.

After international genetics researchers signed a petition for the resignation of genetics researcher Michael Woodley, the university announced that the Scientific Integrity Committee will investigate the man’s scientific work and public performance.

The cooperation has been suspended for the time being, De Morgen reports.

“The VUB and the research community of the Center Leo Apostel are shocked that an element of a paper by Michael Woodley, an unpaid researcher at the centre, has been cited in the manifesto of Payton Gendron, who is responsible for the racist massacre on 14 May, 2022 in Buffalo, New York State, US,” it sounds in a statement from the VUB.

The Brussels university will now have the Scientific Integrity Commission examine Michael Woodley’s scientific work, as well as his public and social media appearances.

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“Pending the conclusion of that committee, the cooperation between Michael Woodley and Center Leo Apostel has been suspended by mutual agreement,” the statement reads.

In the meantime, the director of the centre has also been in contact with Michael Woodley, who is “very upset” about the situation. Contrary to his theories, he told director Francis Heylighen: “I have never, and never will, incite violence of any kind, and I categorically reject all forms of political extremism and discrimination based on race or otherwise.”

Racist manifesto

White supremacist Gendron’s racist motive clearly emerged in a manifesto he had shared online two days before the shooting. Part of those 180 pages is a full-page infographic titled “The Truth About Race,” debunking eight so-called ‘myths’.

In the top right corner of the graph is a table that should prove that there is enough genetic diversity among people to speak of different races. The reference below the table refers to a scientific paper by Woodley from 2010.

Comparison shows that the table has been slightly modified, but the premise is the same: to prove that there are multiple human races.

Eugenics and scientific racism theories are widely discredited as having been the ideological basis for the horrors of colonialism, nazism and many other atrocities committed in the name of racial superiority.

For decades, the scientific consensus has been that there are no separate biological races.

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