|The Dark Art of Racecraft, The AtlanticMay 13th, 2013Jason Richwine takes his place in a long history of research on race and IQ, one of the most discredited fields of study in modern history.|
|Shifts in the Global Body Market: Access or Exploitation?, Biopolitical TimesApril 1st, 2013PlanetHospital claims that new surrogacy regulations in India have ruined a “golden opportunity” and paints Mexico and Thailand as the surrogacy frontiers – where it happens to have business arrangements.
|Race as Biology in The New York Times , Biopolitical TimesFebruary 21st, 2013A prominent science writer’s troubling choice of words about “race” suggest that it is biological reality rather than social category.|
|Too Much InformationSupreme Court 2013: Why collecting DNA from people who are arrested won’t help solve more crimes., SlateFebruary 12th, 2013Research shows that police solve more crimes not by taking DNA from suspects who have never been convicted, but by collecting more evidence at crime scenes.|
|Sickle Cell Test Gets NCAA OK Despite Docs, MedPage TodayJanuary 21st, 2013The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved mandatory confirmation of sickle cell trait status in Division III student athletes, despite the objections of the American Society of Hematology.|
|Privacy Fear for DNA Dragnet, Stuff (New Zealand)January 20th, 2013A district court judge who is a world expert in forensic DNA has called for a public debate on the use of familial DNA testing, saying it raises serious privacy issues and has the potential to subject entire families to life-long genetic surveillance. |
|Welcome to DownTown Abbey, Page Six MagazineDecember 6th, 2012New York City's modern-day dukes and duchesses blur the lines between upstairs and downstairs, demanding their household help provide everything from donated eggs to properly behaved aquatic animals.
|The Definitive Book on the Strange History of BiDil, Biopolitical TimesDecember 6th, 2012Jonathan Kahn's new Race In A Bottle is an extraordinary account of the birth, life, and death(?) of the first drug to receive FDA approval for a specific racial group.|
|DNA Analysis: Far From an Open-and-Shut CaseForensic evidence is widely considered to be the result of purely objective lab tests, but there's growing proof that psychological bias plays a part, Guardian [UK]October 13th, 2012DNA forensics can become less a case of "matching barcodes" than one of deciding whether any one of the numerous and disjointed "barcode fragments" seem to fit the original.
|Economics and Genetics Meet in Uneasy UnionUse of population-genetic data to predict economic success sparks war of words., NatureOctober 10th, 2012A paper about to be published in a prestigious economics journal claims that a country’s genetic diversity can predict the success of its economy. Critics of the study see genetic determinism, and even racism.|
|Stop and Swab: Dramatic Increases in DNA Police Databases, Biopolitical TimesAugust 20th, 2012DNA databases continue to grow exponentially as more U.S. states allow police to seize DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted, and from those suspected of misdemeanors as well as felonies.
|The Place of Race in Understanding Health, Biopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2012Anne Fausto-Sterling considers the meaning of race in health disparities, comparing the work of three prominent scholars who may shake up the status quo.
|Bodies with HistoriesThe New Search for the Biology of Race, Boston ReviewJune 25th, 2012A lot of medical research money is now devoted to finding genetic differences between races that may explain health disparities, but many students of biology and race think that is a bad idea.|
|Designer Babies in Popular Culture, Biopolitical TimesJune 21st, 2012The Whitest Kids U’Know’s comedic parody of genetic counseling is reminiscent of a similar scene in GATTACA.
|Genetic Purity Tests for Politicians, Biopolitical TimesJune 14th, 2012A Hungarian member of parliament has a certificate stating that his genetic ancestry is neither Jewish nor Roma, which set off a storm of protest.|
|Eggs From a Different Perspective, Biopolitical TimesMay 17th, 2012Mainstream coverage of egg freezing fails to bring a diversity of perspectives into the conversation.|
|NC Bill Supports Compensation for Eugenics Victims, New ObserverMay 16th, 2012Victims of North Carolina's decades-long forced sterilization program would receive $50,000 each under a bill filed Wednesday that would make the state the first to compensate people who lost their child-bearing abilities under the once-common practice.|
|How to Use $90? Buy a Gene Ring, or Burn for Warmth?, Biopolitical TimesDecember 8th, 2011ConnectMyDNA is marketing the “Gene Ring,” which it baselessly claims can reveal your genetic compatibility to other Gene Ring purchasers, and your ties to foreign countries. |
|Why Do We Care About Our Ancestors?The rise of genetic testing has made genealogy more popular than ever -- and transformed our concept of identity., SalonNovember 7th, 2011The rise of genetic testing has made genealogy more popular than ever - and transformed our concept of identity. What we now need is a sociological understanding of ancestry and descent.
|Celebrating Dorothy Roberts and Fatal Invention, Biopolitical TimesOctober 6th, 2011The Center for Genetics and Society co-sponsored two events celebrating Dorothy Roberts' new book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century.
|Racial Disparities in Funding At NIH, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 22nd, 2011Mountains of evidence have shown that racial disparities are prevalent across the health sciences landscape. But new research shows that these disparities do not simply concern traditional issues such as relative rates of asthma or diabetes in certain populations, but also the funding mechanisms used to support scientific research. |
|Dorothy Roberts book presentation [video]Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century Co-sponsored by Center for Genetics and Society and Generations Ahead
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | Berkeley, CA|
|New Book on the Biopolitics of Race, Biopolitical TimesAugust 18th, 2011Dorothy Roberts' new book meets an urgent need: encouraging greater thought and public discussion on what new genetic technologies mean for society’s understanding of racial difference and its commitment to racial justice. |
|Race and bio-patents don't mix, Biopolitical TimesAugust 3rd, 2011The Washington Post ran a piece drawing heavily on Jonathan Kahn's recent work, which examines how US patent procedure is forcing race into genetic and medical research.
|Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines on Outsourcing Clinical Trials, Biopolitical TimesJuly 19th, 2011Fault Lines’ Zeina Awad offers a compelling inside look into the questionable business of using vulnerable populations from the developing world to test drugs that will not benefit them and will largely be consumed by Westerners.|
|Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look, New York TimesJune 19th, 2011Less than 20 years ago the National Institutes of Health abruptly withdrew funds for a conference on genetics and crime after outraged complaints that the idea smacked of eugenics. Now criminologists are cautiously returning to the subject.|
|Honorary Degree For Henrietta Lacks, Biopolitical TimesJune 9th, 2011One of the most interesting ways in which Lacks has been recognized is the granting of a posthumous honorary degree (doctorate of public service) by Morgan State University|
|New Book on Race and Genetics, Biopolitical TimesMay 12th, 2011Science writer Alondra Oubré has just published an ambitious new book entitled Race, Genes, and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences.|
|Hijacking Human Rights in Latin AmericaMay 3rd, 2011Prominent Catholic politicians and scholars are using human rights discourse to strengthen a transnational initiative to restrict reproductive rights.|
|Black Salt, SlateApril 18th, 2011Should the government single out African-Americans for low-sodium diets?|
|Behind the New Arizona Abortion Ban , Biopolitical TimesApril 7th, 2011The Arizona law that bans abortion for reasons of sex or race is part of a larger strategy to undermine abortion rights.|
|Clinical trials on trial[Commentary], The New ScientistJanuary 22nd, 2011Vulnerable people are increasingly targeted as subjects for clinical research. Have we forgotten the lessons of past abuses?
, Boston GlobeOctober 29th, 2010Family members' DNA may lead investigators to the answers, but using it as a forensic technique brings up some troubling questions.
|Democrats and DNA Databases , The Huffington PostSeptember 24th, 2010A new bill means that the federal government would pay states to engage in a practice that will likely lead innocent people's DNA to be stored alongside convicted criminals.|
|Familial Searching Hits The Spotlight, Biopolitical TimesJuly 14th, 2010Controversial familial searches in forensic DNA databases helped lead to the arrest of a serial killer known as the ‘Grim Sleeper.’|
|The Crime Spree Continues? , Biopolitical TimesJune 2nd, 2010Despite huge fines levied against Big Pharma, it looks like the criminal behavior of promoting the off-label use of drugs has continued.|
|Race, Genetics, and Law School Emails, Biopolitical TimesMay 9th, 2010The blogosphere was recently set ablaze by a leaked email from a third year Harvard Law student who, after a dinner with friends, wrote to clarify his/her position on race, genetics, and intelligence.|
|When Cultures Collide, Biopolitical TimesApril 28th, 2010The lawsuit brought by 41 members of the Havasupai Indian tribe against Arizona State University has implications that go far beyond last week's settlement.|
|An Obituary for the First Race-Specific Drug, Biopolitical TimesApril 28th, 2010What’s interesting is that the Minnesota Daily’s BiDil obituary doesn’t necessarily blame high prices or issues of bioequivalence as the cause for the drug’s failure. Rather, it points directly to the issues of race and political correctness. |
|Patricia Williams on DNA Databases, Biopolitical TimesApril 6th, 2010In her latest column for The Nation, Columbia Law Professor Patricia Williams offers an insightful critique of a burgeoning law enforcement practice: taking and retaining DNA samples from individuals arrested for a crime regardless of whether they are ever charged or convicted.|
|Two New Publications from Generations Ahead, Biopolitical TimesDecember 22nd, 2009Reports from convenings on DNA forensics and communities of color, and on discussions among disability rights and reproductive rights and justice advocates.|
|Enhancement: From Steroids to Skin Tone, Biopolitical TimesDecember 5th, 2009As during the 1998 baseball season, when Mark McGwire is in the news, Sammy Sosa isn’t far behind. And neither are troubling questions about enhancement. Sosa shocked many a few weeks ago by appearing at the Latin Grammys with dramatically lighter skin. |
|ACLU Challenges California Prop. 69 , Biopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2009Prop. 69’s arrestee provision marks a radical expansion of the government’s power to indefinitely retain intimate information about citizens – many of whom may have done nothing more than be accused of committing a crime.|
|Race and Assisted Reproduction, Biopolitical TimesAugust 31st, 2009Third Year Yale Law Student Dov Fox has recently published an interesting article in the Yale Law Journal on the use of racial classifications in assisted reproduction.|
|Why Racial Profiling Persists in Medical Research, TimeAugust 22nd, 2009Experts say a stubborn streak of racial profiling persists in the medical literature, in studies that attribute health disparities between blacks and whites to genetic differences between the races.|
|Pfizer Settles Trovan Suit. Partially. , Biopolitical TimesAugust 10th, 2009There seems to have been at least a partial resolution in Nigeria’s lawsuit against Pfizer for running ethically questionable clinical trials during a meningitis epidemic. |
|Government Oversight of Genetic Ancestry Tests, Biopolitical TimesJuly 14th, 2009In a recent Science Policy Forum, five leading scholars make a reasoned argument for broader federal oversight of direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry tests.|
|Return of the race myth?, New ScientistJuly 1st, 2009Given our unfortunate history of linking biological understandings of race to racial hierarchy, new technologies may revive old theories of race.|
|The Color of Our GenesBalancing the Promise and Risks of Racial Categories in Human Biotechnology, Science ProgressJune 15th, 2009Advances in genomics may yield profound medical, scientific, and social advances. But if we are not careful, commercial and forensic applications may resuscitate harmful ideas about race.|
|"What color is the baby?" Green?, Biopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2009Race has a remarkable impact on media coverage of accidental switches of gametes or embryos in fertility clinics.|
|"Racial alchemy" - for real?, Biopolitical TimesFebruary 26th, 2009Until now, hypothetical discussions of embryo screening for eye and skin color have seemed distant.|
|Africans’ DNA could be abused, The Times (South Africa)February 14th, 2009South African researchers and traditional leaders fear US scientists will soon start patenting the genes of local ethnic groups, many of whom have donated blood samples as part of a worldwide genome-mapping project. |
|Playing the Gene Card?
A Report on Race and Human BiotechnologyAn ever-increasing number of DNA-based products are being promoted and sold. While many have important benefits, "Playing the Gene Card?" focuses on three that pose particular risks for African American and other minority communities.|
|The Race Card in Michigan, Biopolitical TimesNovember 3rd, 2008Opponents of Proposal 2 tend to view embryos as an early form of human life and therefore see embryonic stem cell research as unethical human experimentation. To bolster their moral claim regarding the use of vulnerable subjects in scientific research, they are now comparing embryonic stem cell research to the Tuskegee experiment.|
|How the (Not so) Mighty Have Fallen, Biopolitical TimesOctober 2nd, 2008Just three years ago, NitroMed (makers of BiDil, the first FDA-approved race specific medicine) was heralded as a promising pharmaceutical company with a business model for BiDil that led some analysts to predict sales of between $500 million and $1 billion by 2010. Yet, BiDil’s fortunes have swung drastically in the other direction|
|Beyond Best Practices [PDF]Strict Scrutiny as a Regulatory Model for Race-Specific Medicines, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (Fall 2008)Given the vigorous and unsettled debate concerning the genetic relevance of race, the state has a strong interest in approving the use of race-specific indications only when they are used cautiously, are supported by robust scientific studies, and are not simply used as a convenient proxy.|
|Henry Louis Gates Jr. Interviews James Watson, Biopolitical TimesJune 9th, 2008Race scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who has filmed two documentaries on race, genetics, and ancestry while also founding a DNA ancestry company, was troubled by Watson’s seemingly pernicious use of race and genetics....This led Gates to interview Watson to, in a sense, determine whether he’s a bigot.|
|Conceiving the Future [PDF]Reproductive-justice activists on technology and policy, BitchJune 6th, 2008Emerging reproductive and genetic technologies have raised critical issues for social-justice movements. This roundtable discussion features some of the women who've been engaged in these national conversations.|
|Washington Post on DNA Forensics, Biopolitical TimesApril 22nd, 2008The Washington Post takes a serious look at the social and legal implications of DNA forensics.|
|The Religious Right: Pronatalist? Only if you are white., Biopolitical TimesFebruary 26th, 2008Christian conservatives are looking abroad, warning that Europe faces the prospect of a "demographic winter" due to declining fertility among native Europeans and higher rates among immigrants.|
|“Roots in a Test Tube” , Biopolitical TimesFebruary 7th, 2008On the heels of the acclaimed 2006 PBS series African-American Lives – where Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. uses genetic ancestry testing to trace several prominent Blacks’ genealogies – comes the second installment, African-American Lives 2.|
|700 and Counting, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 22nd, 2008Is PhRMA laying the foundation for race specificity to become the fallback plan whenever a drug's FDA approval for the general population falters?|
|Geneticizing Disease [PDF]Implications for Racial Health Disparities
January 15th, 2008This joint report by the Center for American Progress and the Center for Genetics and Society examines the mainstream media's focus on genetic links to disease and health disparities and recent attempts to racialize those genetic links. Detailed in the report are the implications of this trend and a refocusing of the discussion on racial health disparities on the social determinants that impact disparities in the United States. |
|60 Minutes on Ancestry Testing , Biopolitical TimesJanuary 8th, 2008In a good piece of investigative journalism, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl recently reviewed a burgeoning cottage industry: genetic ancestry testing|
|2007 in Review: Scientific Racism ReduxGenetic CrossroadsDecember 21st, 2007Scientific racism - the idea that racial disparities in social outcomes can be explained by biological or genetic traits - made a striking comeback this past year.|
|When You Play With Dirt, You Get Dirty , Biopolitical TimesDecember 13th, 2007Slate’s Will Saletan has backed himself into a corner by coming to the defense of James Watson – the eccentric DNA pioneer who found himself pontificating on how Blacks’ separate evolutionary patterns conferred certain genes that depress their intellects. |
|Watson's Dark Vision, Philadelphia InquirerNovember 5th, 2007Perhaps Watson's most important legacy will turn out to be as a counter-example: a demonstration of what not to do in order to use science for the good of humanity.|
|Fury at DNA Pioneer's TheoryAfricans are less intelligent than Westerners, The Independent (UK)October 17th, 2007Celebrated scientist attacked for race comments: "All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really"|
|First One in the Pool..., Biopolitical TimesOctober 17th, 2007The point, of course, is that in fact not everybody is equally represented in the DNA databases that are rapidly expanding in the United States as well as the UK.|
|Good Reporting on Race, Genes, and Health Outcomes, Biopolitical TimesOctober 5th, 2007We are deeply concerned by how the media discusses racial disparities in health and the growing tendency to reduce disparate health outcomes to presumed yet unverified genetic differences between races. That’s why it’s important to point out when journalists show a healthy amount of skepticism about such claims.|
|Women’s Mags Do Surrogacy, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 20th, 2007Two massive-circulation women’s lifestyle magazines – Glamour and Marie Claire – featured articles about contract pregnancy in their August issues. |
|The Rebirth of a Nation?, Colorlines (Sept / Oct 2007)September 19th, 2007300 is arguably the most racially charged movie since D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. Closer inspection reveals a subtler, yet similarly troubling idea that has gone largely unnoticed: 300's unapologetic glorification of eugenics.|
|Everybody into the Pool, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 10th, 2007It’s been confirmed: Collecting arrestees’ DNA – as opposed to those convicted of serious violent crimes – exacerbates the racism inherent in criminal justice systems. And how should we combat this? “Collect the DNA of everyone in the U.K.,” says Lord Justice Sedley, one of England’s most experienced appeal court judges. |
|Racial Alchemy, New ScientistAugust 18th, 2007Of all the genetically determined traits that we might one day hope to control, skin colour is surely one of the most politically explosive.|
|Racial AlchemyBioethics and the Skin Tone Gene, Bioethics Forum May 18th, 2007Scientists have become increasingly intrigued by the possibility of genetically manipulating skin color. Curiously, however, this research is going on with little mention of the dreaded “R” word: race.|
|Race, genes, and illness, Boston GlobeApril 20th, 2007More and more, researchers are holding out the hope that genetic differences may finally explain a good part of the troubling health disparities among races.|
|A Darker Shade of Pale, Biopolitical TimesApril 18th, 2007Don Imus' slanderous comments and the Duke lacrosse players' dropped rape charges have moved race back into America's consciousness. But another case that may very well come to represent the future of racial conflict is quietly making its way through the New York State Supreme Court.|
|Year in Review: Race and medicine: Bedfellows again? (Part 2 of 5)Genetic CrossroadsDecember 14th, 2006This past spring, a small U.S. company called GenSpec launched a targeted advertising campaign for racially specific multi-vitamins and weight loss pills in publications including Sports Illustrated Latino, Hispanic, Latina, Ebony, Black Enterprise and Jet.|
|New York Times on Biocolonialism, Biopolitical TimesDecember 11th, 2006Check out this fascinating front page article in Sunday’s New York Times looking at the tensions between indigenous communities and scientists trying to use their genetic materials to map ancient migration patterns and gather information on other aspects of human history.|
|Genetics and Justice: Summary of Dialogue [PDF]
Implications of New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies for Women of Color
November 29th, 2006On November 29th in Los Angeles, health and social justice advocates came together for a dynamic conversation on the implications of new genetic and reproductive technologies for women of color.|
|Genetics and JusticeImplications of new genetic and reproductive technologiesNovember 29th, 2006A dialogue about cutting-edge issues for women of color who advocate for health and social justice issues in Los Angeles|
|Building Movements [PDF]Disability, Race, Gender, Sexuality and Genetic TechnologiesNovember 9th, 2006Presentation at the Conference on Representing Disability: Theory, Policy, Practice, Haverford College|
|Slooooooow Sales for BiDil®, Biopolitical TimesOctober 18th, 2006Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that sales for BiDil® - the first drug to receive FDA approval to treat a specific race - are unexpectedly slow. There’s no shortage of explanations for why Black people are about as unlikely to take BiDil® as they are to name a newborn child Katrina.|
|Deep Roots and Tangled Branches, Chronicle of Higher EducationThat is the case among the prominent subjects featured in "African American Lives," a two-night, four-part PBS series scheduled for February 1 and 8. The host and executive co-producer is Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the department of African and African-American studies at Harvard. Gates has assembled eight notably successful African-Americans, among them the media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, the legendary music producer Quincy Jones, and the film star Whoopi Goldberg. Each participant, along with Gates, is the subject of some serious professional family-tree tracing. There are surprises for each of them, and the series has undeniable human-interest appeal.|
|The Color of Stem CellsWhy the benefits of stem cell research might not be for people like me., The Greenlining InstituteSeptember 9th, 2005The health policy associate at the Greenlining Institute questions to distribution of the benefits of California's Proposition 71.|
|One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, San Francisco ChronicleJuly 5th, 2005NitroMed's BiDil recently received FDA approval as the first drug targeted exclusively for a racial group. Does this make sense? Is this good science? BiDil has been met with both celebration and admonition. At the same time, accusations of racial opportunism are flying left and right.|
|Race and Reification in Science, ScienceFebruary 18th, 2005The use of the concept of race in pharmacogenomics, forensics, and human molecular genetics continues apace, despite the imprecision of the category and the growing number of voices suggesting caution, and even a "sunset clause" for its continued deployment. The new technologies that can generate SNP patterns and profiles for any population have created an ever growing risk that racial categories will be mistakenly re-inscribed as "genetic." The author urges geneticists to counter this problem actively by the way they report their findings|
|Race and the Biotech AgendaPresentation at the Symposium, "The Next Four Years, the Biotech Agenda, the Human Future: What Direction for Liberals and Progressives?"December 9th, 2004This is the text of Dr. Roberts' presentation at the Symposium, "The Next Four Years, the Biotech Agenda, the Human Future: What Direction for Liberals and Progressives?" held in New York.|
|The Ghost of Medical AtrocitiesWhat's Next, After the Unveiling?, New York TimesDecember 12th, 2003Since Tuskegee, several disturbing instances have come to light. In those cases, scientists, physicians and the government-sanctioned research or treatments that we would today consider unethical, like trials of untested vaccines or medications on mentally retarded children and prisoners. Increasingly, public apologies have been made to smooth over these clinical transgressions. Yet the doctor in me wonders whether these gestures will cure what ails us.|
|Genism, Racism, and the Prospect of Genetic GenocidePrepared for presentation at UNESCO 21st Century Talks: The New Aspects of Racism in the Age of Globalization and the Gene Revolution at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa||