Researchers should avoid use terms like ‘race,’ ‘ancestry,’ or ‘ethnicity’ interchangeably

McMaster expert advises on using terms like ‘race’ in health-care research Health-care researchers should avoid use terms like ‘race,’ ‘ancestry,’ or ‘ethnicity’ interchangeably in their studies and research reports, says McMaster University professor Sonia Anand in her latest study in PLOS Global Public Health.

“When they not used carefully, people often use race, ethnicity and ancestry as equivalent terms and depending on the research, racial groups are interpreted to reflect biological differences,” said Anand, a professor of the Department of Medicine. She is also the acting associate vice-president of Equity and Inclusion at McMaster and the associate chair of equity and diversity for her department. “Also, people’s perceptions of their own ethnicity can vary over time.”

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