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He began at University of Georgia in 1946 and was appointed Director of the University's Counseling and Testing Center in 1947. He was interested in psychometrics and counseling. When licensing laws for psychologists in Georgia were enacted, his license was number 15.
Osborne is a grantee of the Pioneer Fund to study intelligence and personality as well as physical characteristics in several hundred white and black twins in Georgia, Kentucky, and Indiana. Osborne’s large twin study showed that the weight of genes and culture are equally as important among Blacks as among Whites. During the civil rights movement, he testified in court against school integration.
In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories of Mainstream Science on Intelligence, a public statement written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal as a response to what the authors viewed as the inaccurate and misleading reports made by the media regarding academic consensus on the results of intelligence research in the wake of the appearance of The Bell Curve earlier the same year.
Osborne became a Director of the Pioneer Fund in 2000 and continues in that role.
- Osborne, R. Travis, A. James Gregor, and Frank Miele. "Heritability of Numerical Facility." Perceptual and Motor Skills 24 (1967): 659-666.
- Osborne, R. Travis, A. James Gregor, and Frank Miele. "Heritability of Factor V: Verbal Comprehension." Perceptual and Motor Skills 26 (1968): 191-202.
- Osborne, R. Travis, and Frank Miele. "Racial Differences in Environmental Influences on Numerical Ability as Determined by Heritability Estimates." Perceptual and Motor Skills 28 (1969): 535-538.
- Miele, Frank, and R. Travis Osborne. "Racial Differences in Heritability Ratios for Verbal Ability." Homo 24 (1973): 35-39.
- Swan, Donald A., and Frank Miele (with the assistance of Dr. R. Travis Osborne). "A Factor Analysis of Oetteking's Ancient Egyptian Cranial Data." Homo 24 (1973): 188-204.
- R Travis Osborne & Frank C.J. McGurk, The Testing of Negro Intelligence, vol. 2, Athens, GA: Foundation for Human Understanding, 1982
- Osborne, R. Travis, Clyde E. Noble, and Nathaniel Weyl, editors. Human Variation. Orlando: Academic Press, 1978.
- Osborne, R. Travis. Twins: Black and White. Athens, Georgia: Foundation for Human Understanding, 1980.
- History of the University of Georgia Psychology Department
- Frank Miele bibliography via Institute for the Study of Academic Racism
- Highlights of Pioneer Fund Research and Grantees
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