“The Fixity of Whiteness”: Genetic Admixture and the Legacy of the One-Drop Rule

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2018-08-14 02:25Z by Steven

“The Fixity of Whiteness”: Genetic Admixture and the Legacy of the One-Drop Rule

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018
pages 239-261
DOI: 10.5325/critphilrace.6.2.0239

Jordan Liz

There has been increasing attention given to the way in which racial genetic clusters are constructed within population genetics. In particular, some scholars have argued that the conception of “whiteness” presupposed is such analyses is inherently problematic. In light of these ongoing discussions, this article aims to further clarify and develop this implicit relationship between whiteness, purity and contemporary genetics by offering a Foucauldian critique of the discourse of race within these genetic admixture studies. The goals of this article, then, are twofold: first, to unearth some of the presuppositions operative in this genetics discourse that make possible a biological conception of race; and second, to examine some of the social and historical origins of those presuppositions. To this end, this article provides a brief genealogy of racial purity beginning with its formal legal codification in the one-drop rule.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Troublesome Science: The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Monographs on 2018-07-02 02:33Z by Steven

Troublesome Science: The Misuse of Genetics and Genomics in Understanding Race

Columbia University Press
June 2018
216 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780231185721
E-book ISBN: 9780231546300

Rob DeSalle, Curator/Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and Professor
Richard Gilder Graduate School
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York

Ian Tattersall, Curator Emeritus in the Division of Anthropology
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York

Troublesome Science

It is well established that all humans today, wherever they live, belong to one single species. Yet even many people who claim to abhor racism take for granted that human “races” have a biological reality. In Troublesome Science, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall provide a lucid and forceful critique of how scientific tools have been misused to uphold misguided racial categorizations.

DeSalle and Tattersall argue that taxonomy, the scientific classification of organisms, provides an antidote to the myth of race’s biological basis. They explain how taxonomists do their science—how to identify a species and to understand the relationships among different species and the variants within them. DeSalle and Tattersall also detail the use of genetic data to trace human origins and look at how scientists have attempted to recognize discrete populations within Homo sapiens. Troublesome Science demonstrates conclusively that modern genetic tools, when applied correctly to the study of human variety, fail to find genuine differences. While the diversity that exists within our species is a real phenomenon, it nevertheless defeats any systematic attempt to recognize discrete units within it. The stark lines that humans insist on drawing between their own groups and others are nothing but a mixture of imagination and ideology. Troublesome Science is an important call for researchers, journalists, and citizens to cast aside the belief that race has a biological meaning, for the sake of social justice and sound science alike.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Evolutionary Lessons
  • 2. Species and How to Recognize Them
  • 3. Phylogenetic Trees
  • 4. The Name Game: Modern Zoological Nomenclature and the Rules of Naming Things
  • 5. DNA Fingerprinting and Barcoding
  • 6. Early Biological Notions of Human Divergence
  • 7. Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam
  • 8. The Other 99 Percent of the Genome
  • 9. ABBA/BABA and the Genomes of Our Ancient Relatives
  • 10. Human Migration and Neolithic Genomes
  • 11. Gene Genealogies and Species Trees
  • 12. Clustering Humans?
  • 13. STRUCTUREing Humans?
  • 14. Mr. Murray Loses His Bet
  • Epilogue: Race and Society
  • Notes and Bibliography
  • Index
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Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Economics, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-19 18:00Z by Steven

Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations

SAGE Publishing
488 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781506306940

Edited by:

Zulema Valdez, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Beyond Black and White is a new anthology of readings that reflects the complexity of racial dynamics in the contemporary United States, where the fastest-growing group is “two or more races.” Drawing on the work of both established figures in the field and early career scholars, Zulema Valdez has assembled a rich and provocative collection of pieces that illustrates the diversity of today’s American racial landscape. Where many books tend to focus primarily on majority–minority relations, Beyond Black and White offers a more nuanced picture by including pieces on multiracial/multiethnic identities, relations between and within minority communities, and the experiences of minority groups who have achieved power and status within American society.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Editor
  • About the Contributors
    • 1. A Critical and Comprehensive Sociological Theory of Race and Racism; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 2. The Theory of Racial Formation; Michael Omi, Howard Winant
    • 3. Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
    • 4. Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration; Richard Alba, Victor Nee
    • 5. Segmented Assimilation and Minority Cultures of Mobility; Kathryn M. Neckerman, Prudence Carter, Jennifer Lee
    • 6. Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race; Audrey Smedley, Brian D. Smedley
    • 7. Back to the Future? The Emergence of a Geneticized Conceptualization of Race in Sociology; Reanne Frank
    • 8. Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Other; Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, Leslie Houts Picca
    • 9. Invisibility in the Color-Blind Era: Examining Legitimized Racism against Indigenous Peoples; Dwanna L. Robertson
    • 10. Who Are We? Producing Group Identity through Everyday Practices of Conflict and Discourse; Jennifer A. Jones
    • 11. Illegality as a Source of Solidarity and Tension in Latino Families; Leisy Abrego
    • 12. Are Second-Generation Filipinos “Becoming” Asian American or Latino? Historical Colonialism, Culture and Panethnicity; Anthony C. Ocampo
    • 13. The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality; Margaret Hunter
    • 14. The Case for Taking White Racism and White Colorism More Seriously; Lance Hannon, Anna DalCortivo, Kirstin Mohammed
    • 15. “I’m Watching Your Group”: Academic Profiling and Regulating Students Unequally; Gilda L. Ochoa
    • 16. Race, Age, and Identity Transformations in the Transition from High School to College for Black and First-Generation White Men; Amy C. Wilkins
    • 17. Out of the Shadows and Out of the Closet: Intersectional Mobilization and the DREAM Movement; Veronica Terriquez
    • 18. Racial Inclusion or Accommodation? Expanding Community Boundaries among Asian American Organizations; Dina G. Okamoto, Melanie Jones Gast
    • 19. The Place of Race in Conservative and Far-Right Movements; Kathleen M. Blee, Elizabeth A. Yates
    • 20. Negotiating “The Welfare Queen” and “The Strong Black Woman”: African American Middle-Class Mothers’ Work and Family Perspectives; Dawn Marie Dow
    • 21. Nailing Race and Labor Relations: Vietnamese Nail Salons in Majority–Minority Neighborhoods; Kimberly Kay Hoang
    • 22. Becoming a (Pan)ethnic Attorney: How Asian American and Latino Law Students Manage Dual Identities; Yung-Yi Diana Pan
    • 23. Miles to Go before We Sleep: Racial Inequities in Health; David R. Williams
    • 24. Identity and Mental Health Status among American Indian Adolescents; Whitney N. Laster Pirtle, Tony N. Brown
    • 25. Assimilation and Emerging Health Disparities among New Generations of U.S. Children; Erin R. Hamilton, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Robert A. Hummer, Yolanda C. Padilla
    • 26. The Racialization of Crime and Punishment: Criminal Justice, Color-Blind Racism, and the Political Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex; Rose M. Brewer, Nancy A. Heitzeg
    • 27. Mass Deportation at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century; Tanya Golash-Boza
    • 28. The Hyper-Criminalization of Black and Latino Male Youth in the Era of Mass Incarceration; Victor M. Rios
    • 29. “Nomas Cásate”/“Just Get Married”: How a Legalization Pathway Shapes Mixed-Status Relationships; Laura E. Enriquez
    • 30. I Wouldn’t, but You Can: Attitudes toward Interracial Relationships; Melissa R. Herman, Mary E. Campbell
    • 31. Love Is (Color)Blind: Asian Americans and White Institutional Space at the Elite University; Rosalind S. Chou, Kristen Lee, Simon Ho
    • 32. A Postracial Society or a Diversity Paradox? Race, Immigration, and Multiraciality in the Twenty-First Century; Jennifer Lee, Frank D. Bean
  • Glossary
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The Law and Genetics of Racial Profiling in Medicine

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-23 15:27Z by Steven

The Law and Genetics of Racial Profiling in Medicine

Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 39, Number 2 (Summer 2004)
pages 391-483

Erik Lillquist, Associate Provost for Academic Projects & Professor of Law
Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey

Charles A. Sullivan, Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Finance & Faculty
Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey

Modern medicine has embraced the use of race. Race is routinely employed by medical researchers, clinicians, and community health officials. Moreover, medicine’s use of race is not done in the shadows, but right before our eyes. Physicians note our race when treating us and medical researchers routinely publish results that classify subjects based on race. Researchers debate the relative merits of using race in prominent journals and doctors have freely claimed in major newspapers that they use race.1 Recently, the New York Times featured Dr. Sally Satel on the cover of its Magazine Section proudly proclaiming, “I am a racially profiling doctor.”2 A year earlier, the same paper reported on FDA approval of clinical trials for a heart drug designed exclusively for African Americans.3

Curiously, the question of whether biological differences in the races should be taken into account by our health care institutions has gone largely unconsidered in the law journals. Given the pervasive role law plays in medicine and research, this is surprising. This omission is especially striking because race otherwise dominates law review articles.4 Whether the topic is affirmative action, employment discrimination, environmental justice or any of a myriad of areas where race encounters the law, the reviews have thoroughly canvassed the problem, often with a strong interdisciplinary focus. Accordingly, law journals have devoted significant space to race where it intersects health care in one area: the cause of racial disparities in the health status of African Americans and other minorities.5 But the conscious use of race to diagnose and treat individuals continues with almost no discussion, despite all of the attention paid to the topic in both the popular media and medical literature. This Article fills that void.

Taking race into account in medical treatment seems at least as objectionable as other, explicitly prohibited uses, especially given the egregious acts perpetrated against racial minorities in this country in the name of medicine. For example, in the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, the United States Public Health Service deliberately failed to treat nearly 400 African American males suffering from late-stage syphilis.6 Further, the notion of genetic racial differences triggers associations with the eugenics movement7 and repeated “scientific” efforts to prove the intellectual inferiority of African Americans.8

Even more dramatic is the increasing acceptance among researchers and clinicians of race as an appropriate focus of medical study and treatment. Indeed, this may be an unintended byproduct of the medical and legal literature on racial disparities in health. For example, to explain why African Americans have higher mortality rates from heart disease, researchers have studied whether the disparity may be partially accounted for by genetic differences between African Americans and whites—differences that enlightened modern medicine can identify and then address.9 To that end, medical journals increasingly explore possible racial connections with diseases and treatments. In 2001, a pair of studies in the New England Journal of Medicine focused on possible differences in drug responses among black and white heart patients. One study found racial differences for one drug;10 the other found no such differences for another.” Other examples abound.12

The notion that medicine should reject a colorblind model in favor of taking race into account marks a significant shift in perspective. Proponents argue that, unlike many of their predecessors in the medical and scientific community, they will take race into account only when it is appropriate to do so.13 But that claim was also made by predecessors whose views are now widely condemned.14 Furthermore, it occurs at a time when researchers are documenting the role that unconscious or semi-conscious racism plays in the delivery of medical treatment. For example, recent research has suggested that physicians prescribe different treatment for patients solely as a result of the patient’s race and/or gender.15 One study showed that physicians recommended cardiac catheterization at a lower rate for African American female patients than for African American males, white males, or white females, even though the symptoms presented were exactly the same.16 Another study showed that physicians prescribed analgesics to patients at different dosages depending upon the race of the patient and the gender of the physician.17 All of these differences are in-appropriate in terms of the current state of medical knowledge. Even if physicians can be cured of conscious bias, they no doubt will be influenced by the unconscious biases that plague American society.18

The problems of using race in health care have not gone unnoticed in the medical community. In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine ran two editorials—one praising the research19 and the other claiming that attributing medical differences to race “is not only imprecise but also of no proven value in treating an individual patient.”20 The New England Journal of Medicine reprised the 2001 dispute with a pair of articles in March 2003. Esteban Gonzalez Burchard of the University of California at San Francisco and Neil Risch of Stanford University argued that ignoring race will “retard progress in biomedical research,”21 while an opposing article by Dr. Richard S. Cooper warned that scientists have been too quick to view genetics as the reason for greater susceptibility of African Americans to certain diseases when the real reason may be social factors.22 The reality is that more and more articles in scientific journals are reporting results by racial groups, a result federal regulations encourage.23

Almost completely ignored to date have been the legal implications of medicine’s use of race. Existing law, primarily the Equal Protection Clause, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Titles II and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, renders many of these actions legally suspect. For instance, the use of race in selecting participants for clinical trials and in deciding the treatment of patients, we believe, may violate federal constitutional and statutory law. While nonclinical research that utilizes race is probably legal, it faces threats from proposals such as the California Racial Privacy Initiative,24 rejected this past year.

Given the disconnect between what medicine does and what the law appears to allow, what should be done? We believe that, in quite limited circumstances, the law should permit the use of race in medicine. Race, although socially constructed, is a useful proxy for both a person’s ancestry and for environment.25 As we explain in more detail in this Article, both ancestry and environment can play an important role in determining a person’s health. Of course, race is never more than a proxy, and other and better methods can usually be used to obtain the same information about ancestry and environment. But, in a few cases, race may be the best, and perhaps only, means of obtaining this information. When and if this is true, the use of race can be justified.

We acknowledge that the use of race in medicine, as anywhere else, is fraught with peril. Researchers and clinicians in the past have visited grave injustices on individuals in the pursuit of race-driven medicine. The continued use of race by physicians and other health care professionals may only reinforce the unconscious biases that infect medicine, and it may tend to validate the racism of others in society more generally. These costs have to be weighed before the use of race should be permitted. But even after considering them, we still believe that there are some very limited circumstances where the use of race ought to be permitted. This Article is, in large part, designed to define carefully the rare circumstances in which the use of race will be appropriate.

The Article proceeds as follows. Part I sets the stage by sketching the underlying debate about racial disparities in health status and health care and the ways in which the question of race in health is likely to arise. It also addresses the special problems of using race. Part II then turns to the threshold question for any such discussion, “What is Race?,” concluding that “race” as it is currently used in America is socially constructed. While race, as a biological construct, has no meaning, modern human evolutionary theory tells us that, in quite limited circumstances, differences in the frequency of some genes may arise between different races as they have been socially constructed. This is (generally) not because of natural selection, but rather the result of an evolutionary force known as genetic drift, which causes population groups that are separated from one another to diverge in the frequency of genes.

Part III then canvasses the scientific literature to assess the limited situations when “race” may be suitable for medical use because of genetic factors that cannot otherwise be efficiently taken into account. Race, when used as a proxy for ancestry, may tell us something about both disease susceptibility and drug sensitivity. In addition, when seen as a proxy for environment, race can also tell us something about disease susceptibility. Part IV moves from science to law, reviewing the various legal regimes that bear on the use of race in the medical context. We conclude that, in general, the use of race in medicine raises serious legal issues. The main exception is that race-based studies, with no clinical component, would appear to be legal. Finally, Part V brings together the themes of social construction of race, genetically related populations, and the existing legal framework in order to draw normative recommendations for the law’s approach to “racial profiling” in medicine. In particular, we propose the creation of a defense for the limited use of race in treatment, which we describe as a bona fide treatment rationale defense. In addition, we suggest that efforts to include (but not to exclude) racial groups in clinical trials ought to be permitted, and that efforts to exclude groups ought to be resisted. Finally, we accept—for now—the continued use of race in non-clinical studies…

Read the entire article here.

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When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-20 02:54Z by Steven

When Your Medical Treatment Depends On Your Race

The Establishment

Cici Zhang

Human red bone marrow Jill Doughtie

Why do minority patients have a much harder time finding a match for bone marrow transplants?

It’s not easy to look for a specific boy among hundreds of first graders, especially when they swarm into lines for cupcakes and cotton candy. On this fall bake-sale day, the cafeteria of Public School 106 in the Parkchester section of the Bronx is buzzing with energy and children’s happy shrieks. A few teachers shout across the hall to keep things from spinning out of control. And when I finally spot 6-year-old Asaya Bullock, he seems to be well in hand.

“Ready for your green soup?” Charline, his mother, takes out a thermos with a Spider-Man design on the side.

The green soup is one of the only three things Asaya has ever been able to eat. He drinks it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner; he drank it for the whole trip that his family took to the Caribbean to visit his mom’s relatives. Luckily, with broccoli, kale, green beans, and some minced meat, Asaya’s soup is at least healthy — and better than the small bowl of potato chips used as comfort food after his bi-weekly belly infusion. The recurring medical procedure helps keep him alive…

Read the entire article here.

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Why the idea that the English have a common Anglo-Saxon origin is a myth

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Religion, United Kingdom on 2018-04-12 18:12Z by Steven

Why the idea that the English have a common Anglo-Saxon origin is a myth

The Conversation

Duncan Sayer, Reader in Archaeology
University of Central Lancashire

A diverse history. Witan hexateuch via Wikimedia Commons

The idea that there is a common Anglo-Saxon ancestry based on biology is gaining currency among some right-wing and religious groups in the UK and US.

In the UK, the new leader of the UK Independence Party, Henry Bolton, suggested in a radio interview in October that “in certain communities the indigenous Anglo-Saxon population is nowhere to be seen.”

In August, a religious group called the Odinist Fellowship wrote to the Church of England demanding two churches as reparations for a “spiritual genocide” which it claims began in the seventh century AD.

The Odinists use old Icelandic texts to reconstruct the “indigenous” religion of the Anglo-Saxons which they claim was oppressed with the arrival of Christianity. The Anglo-Saxons are commonly believed to have migrated into Briton in the fifth and sixth century AD. Iceland by contrast was inhabited in the ninth century by Viking settlers. In the US, this mixed up medievalism is associated with the white supremacist alt-right who use Anglo-Saxon and Viking motifs.

But archaeological research, which examines ancient DNA and artefacts to explore who these “indigenous” Anglo-Saxons were, shows that the people of fifth and sixth century England had a mixed heritage and did not base their identity on a biological legacy. The very idea of the Anglo-Saxon ancestor is a more recent invention linked closely with the English establishment…

Read the entire article here.

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Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-09 02:03Z by Steven

Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

The Daily Pennsylvanian
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Carlos Arias Vivas


Convos with Carlos | 23andMe results can’t change your upbringing

During one late night bonding session with my hallmates, one of them revealed to the group that they took a DNA test and discovered more about their background. Intrigued, I sought out to buy one of the kits for myself. The major players in this industry are Ancestry.com and 23andMe; both offer DNA tests that can shed light on your lineage as well as an optional health risks assessment.

Now, I knew that these tests are very expensive. For 23andMe, the basic ancestry service costs $99 and the Health + Ancestry service costs $199. I ended up choosing to go with 23andMe based on positive online reviews. Also, this was the brand my hallmate had used. Luckily, for me, there was a special Black Friday sale, so I snatched up the kit and waited for it to arrive at Amazon@Penn.

Before doing the spit-test that is required, I knew that I was going to be Latino. My parents are from Ecuador, and I imagined that my ancestry composition would show a high concentration of Latino ancestry. I never questioned my background because that was never a conversation I had with my family. After countless times of spitting in my tube, I entered my registration code to track my kit, sealed up the test tube in the box, and dropped off my sample at the post office.

This “waiting game” was an agonizing process. But even though I was excited to receive my results, I knew that the outcome wouldn’t dramatically change who I was. Whatever 23andMe had in store, my upbringing is already set in stone…

Read the enetire article here.

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DNA tests are all fine and dandy, but they can never tell us who we really are

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Oceania on 2018-04-04 23:11Z by Steven

DNA tests are all fine and dandy, but they can never tell us who we really are

Stuff (The Dominion Post)
Wellington, New Zealand

Geoff Chambers, Senior Research & Teaching Fellow (Retired)
Victoria Unversity of Wellington, New Zealand

Paul Callister, Retired Economist
Wellington, Victora, New Zealand

‘So just who are we? Ancestry and culture became blended in the concept of ‘ethnicity’ popular from around the 1980s. 123rf.com

OPINION: Who am I and where do I come from? Many New Zealanders ask themselves these important questions. This is the basis of our identity as individuals and as members of groups. The article Seeking the truth in DNA (March 24) tells us just how popular it has become to seek answers through genetic testing companies like Ancestry.com. For a few dollars and a small saliva sample all will be revealed.

But will it? What these tests do show is who our deep-time ancestors were and where they came from. Their results may be surprising to some. It is possible to be born in Dublin to two rock solid Irish parents and yet be told that you are Scandinavian. This dilemma can only be resolved by learning about historical population movements and invasions.

In New Zealand our focus is often on the Māori v European identity. The article above told the story of Oriini​ Kaipara, whose DNA test showed that she was 100 per cent Māori rather than just 80 per cent as she had expected. This sparked a ‘blood quantum‘ debate. This became entwined with a wider discussion led by Simon Bridges about what constitutes our sense of identity. It is time now to unpack the history of these ideas for all round better understanding…

Read the entire article here.

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Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive on 2018-04-01 01:38Z by Steven

Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Tiago Ferreira, Staff

What was the eugenics movement in Brazil: so absurd that it is difficult to believe

Eugenia is a term that came from the Greek and means ‘well born’. “Eugenics emerged to validate hierarchical segregation,” Pietro Diwan, author of the book Raça Pura: uma história da eugenia no Brasil e no mundo (Pure Race: A History of Eugenics in Brazil and the World), explains to VIX.

How eugenics was born

The idea was disseminated by Francis Galton, responsible for creating the term, in 1883. He imagined that the concept of natural selection of Charles Darwin—who, by the way, was his cousin—also applied to humans.

His project was intended to prove that the intellectual capacity was hereditary, that is, it passed from member to member of the family and, thus, to justify the exclusion of the blacks, Asian immigrants and disabled of all the types…

Read the entire article here.

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How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Letters, Media Archive on 2018-03-31 02:37Z by Steven

How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics


Micah Baldwin / Via Flickr: micahb37

Race has long been a potent way of defining differences between human beings. But science and the categories it constructs do not operate in a political vacuum.

This open letter was produced by a group of 68 scientists and researchers. The full list of signatories can be found below.

In his newly published book Who We Are and How We Got Here, geneticist David Reich engages with the complex and often fraught intersections of genetics with our understandings of human differences — most prominently, race.

He admirably challenges misrepresentations about race and genetics made by the likes of former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade and Nobel Laureate James Watson. As an eminent scientist, Reich clearly has experience with the genetics side of this relationship. But his skillfulness with ancient and contemporary DNA should not be confused with a mastery of the cultural, political, and biological meanings of human groups.

As a group of 68 scholars from disciplines ranging across the natural sciences, medical and population health sciences, social sciences, law, and humanities, we would like to make it clear that Reich’s understanding of “race” — most recently in a Times column warning that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races’” — is seriously flawed…

Read the entire letter here.

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