AN Oxford professor has apologised for an 'disgusting and repulsive' email he wrote in 1996.

Nick Bostrom is Swedish-born philosopher and a professor at the University of Oxford. He is also the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute.

Earlier this month, he issued an apology for an email he wrote for an unmoderated mailing list forum called ‘The Extropians’.

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In the email, he wrote that 'blacks are more stupid than whites', followed by 'I like that sentence and think it is true.' 

In an apology statement published on his website, Mr Bostrom said The Extropians was a place where people had conversations about 'science fiction, future technologies, society and all sorts of random things.'

However he admitted that there were 'large quantities of outright offensive stuff'. 

He went on to say that he wanted to 'clean out his own closet' amid rumours his comments may be 'maliciously framed or used in swear campaigns' and so he therefore repeated the email.

In the email, Mr Bostrom wrote: 'Blacks are more stupid than whites. I like that sentence and think it is true. But recently I have begun to believe that I won't have much success with most people if I speak like that.

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“They would think that I was a 'racist': that I disliked black people and thought that it is fair if blacks are treated badly.

“I don't. It's just that based on what I have read, I think it is probable that black people have a lower average IQ than mankind in general, and I think that IQ is highly correlated with what we normally mean by 'smart' and 'stupid'.

“I may be wrong about the facts, but that is what the sentence means for me. For most people, however, the sentence seems to be synonymous with: I hate those bloody n*****s!!!! [sic].

“I think it is laudable if you accustom people to the offensiveness of truth, but be prepared that you may suffer some personal damage.”

A University of Oxford spokesperson told MailOnline: 'The University and Faculty of Philosophy is currently investigating the matter but condemns in the strongest terms possible the views this particular academic expressed in his communications.

“Neither the content nor language are in line with our strong commitment to diversity and equality.”

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Chairman of the Oxford student union's campaign for racial awareness and equality, Jake Milikan, told The Times that they stand 'firmly' against any racism and they 'hope the university will take appropriate action.’


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

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