|Ma Na Sapna – A Mother’s DreamMarch 23rd, 2016A 2013 film on transnational surrogacy in India brings a sensitive view of the surrogate mothers who are otherwise largely invisible, and allows them to speak for themselves.|
|I Can't Breathe, Boston ReviewMarch 21st, 2016The belief in racial essentialism means that the medical curriculum pays scant attention to the means by which the social experience of race produces disease.|
|My Genes, Myself?March 8th, 2016We have become accustomed to ascribing agency to individual genes. But every now and then a story comes along that reminds us just how foolish we are.|
|Race, Genetics, SocietyFebruary 11th, 2016We highlight recent research by CGS Advisory Board member Dorothy Roberts, a CGS position opening, and our recent news and resources on race and genetics.|
|Taking race out of human genetics, ScienceFebruary 5th, 2016"We believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research—so disputed and so mired in confusion—is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way."|
|Can 23andMe have it all?, ScienceSeptember 25th, 2015The company has made about 30 deals with biotech and pharma companies, and plans to hire 25 scientists in the next year to begin drug discovery efforts of its own.|
|Biotech Imagination: Whose Future is this?September 8th, 2015A feature in PLOS Biology highlights insider predictions about the next ten years in genetics and genomics with unanimous optimism. But whose future is this?|
|Blind people can be racist, too, study says[Cites CGS's Osagie Obasogie], CNNAugust 30th, 2015A new study suggests blind people don't think about the physical attributes of race, but Osagie Obasogie disputes the idea that blind people enter social interactions with a blank slate.|
|Stars, Bars, and Embryos, Biopolitical TimesJuly 28th, 2015Controversies about the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing are far more complex than "choice" and "intent" suggest.
|The Scope of Eugenics: A Workshop, Biopolitical TimesMay 27th, 2015The four-day workshop, organized by the Edmonton-based Living Archives Project on Eugenics in Western Canada, brought together early-career scholars interested in eugenics to discuss historical models and forms of "Newgenics."|
|Racial Health Disparities: It’s Inequality, Not Genes, Biopolitical TimesApril 23rd, 2015A review of genomic research on racial health disparities in heart disease finds it has made “little or no contribution to our understanding.” A new article in The Atlantic puts that in social, political, and historical context.|
|Two Neuroscientists Who Get It Right, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2015Two UC San Diego neuroscientists have created a “Roadmap to a New Neuroscience.” It is a status-quo-shifting kind of amazing.|
|Breaking from our Eugenic Past, Biopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 2014As the victims of North Carolina's eugenics program finally receive compensation, we should not celebrate "the new eugenics" as some have argued, but learn carefully from this history.|
|Could Genomics Revive The Eugenics Movement?, ForbesNovember 8th, 2014There was a time when people in America were sterilized, sometimes unwittingly, by activists aiming to create a healthier, “better” population. As the progress of genomics accelerates, we need to remember the lessons of the past.|
|The Real Problem With Sperm Banks, The Daily BeastOctober 7th, 2014A woman recently sued a sperm bank that mistakenly sent her sperm from a black donor instead of a white donor. The lawsuit highlights the lack of regulation of an industry that has life and death implications and is not regulated accordingly.|
|Reproducing Race, The Huffington PostOctober 6th, 2014It is troubling for donor services to accentuate race in ways that invite parents to exclude wholesale from their consideration all donors of a particular race.|
|An End to Sterilization Abuses in California Prisons, Biopolitical TimesSeptember 26th, 2014The signing of SB 1135 into California law by Gov. Jerry Brown is an important victory in the fight for the remembrance of our state's eugenic history and its ongoing implications.|
|Under the Skin, NatureSeptember 18th, 2014Three recent books focus on whether race is biological and therefore "real." But this question is a dead end, a distraction from what is really at stake in this debate: human social equality.|
|Tuskegee Today, The Huffington PostAugust 8th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today. |
|Tuskegee, Today, Biopolitical TimesAugust 7th, 2014Last week marked the 42nd anniversary of the Tuskegee syphilis study and many people took the opportunity to examine its relevance to the treatment of human research subjects today. |
|North Carolina and Genetics: From Sterilization to Research SubjectsAugust 7th, 2014In the twentieth century, North Carolina was one of dozens of states that targeted certain citizens for eugenic sterilization. Today, in a town outside Charlotte, biotech researchers are asking for urine and blood samples and offering $10 gift cards to WalMart in exchange.|
|Race, Genetics and Voting?, Moyers & CompanyJuly 18th, 2014Naturalistic assumptions about race mislead liberals in their effort to fathom race’s astringent power, shifting the focus from social dynamics to inherited essences.|
|Rethinking 21st Century Racism on the Way Home, GeneWatchJuly 17th, 2014When American genetic ancestry meets the ancestral homeland, DNA acquires a degree of contingency from which it cannot escape. This may serve as a means to rethink what potential there is of reifying the idea of "race" as we have known it.|
|Highly Placed Media Racists, FAIRJuly 2nd, 2014Nicholas Wade's views raise questions about his tenure at The New York Times, and about corporate media vigilance on coverage of racism.|
|Implications of Genetic Diversity in Mexico, Biopolitical TimesJune 25th, 2014Two genomic surveys, one of Mexicans and one of self-identified Latinos, raise questions about the scientific use of cultural terms, and also hold implications for personalized medicine.|
|White Rabbit, The NationJune 23rd, 2014In a guise of scientific seriousness, Nicholas Wade’s new book revives the discredited ideas of history’s most notorious racists.|
|A Troublesome Controversy, The Huffington PostJune 9th, 2014Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History has been out for a month, and the fuss seems to be dying down. So, is "scientific racism" dead? Unfortunately, it's too soon for that particular funeral.|
|Wading into Racism, Biopolitical TimesJune 6th, 2014A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History has been out for a month, and the fuss, such as it was, seems to be dying down, but the underlying issues remain significant.|
|The Genes Made Us Do It, In These TimesMay 12th, 2014A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History is a paranoid, anti-intellectual screed. According to author Nicholas Wade, scientists are misleading you about race in order to set their own egalitarian political agenda.|
|Nicholas Wade: Genes, Race and Anthropology, Biopolitical TimesMay 8th, 2014Is Nicholas Wade shocked and horrified that his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, is getting support from racists? Really, what did he expect?
|Discriminatory “DNA Sweeps”, Biopolitical TimesMarch 31st, 2014A DNA sweep of “all black and brown migrant workers” at farms in Canada has led to a complaint against the Ontario Provincial Police department alleging misconduct and racial profiling.|
|The Rent-a-Womb Boom, The Daily BeastMarch 3rd, 2014Who really profits from India’s multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry? Adrienne Vogt explores the uncertain future of the subcontinent’s baby business.
|Ancient Genome Stirs Ethics Debate, NatureFebruary 12th, 2014The remains of a young boy buried some 12,600 years ago in Montana have revealed the ancestry of one of the earliest populations in the Americas.|
|On Race and Medicine, The ScientistFebruary 1st, 2014While age and gender are strongly associated with biological differences that may have a significant impact on disease susceptibility and treatment response, the role of race/ethnicity is far less clear.|
|A Short History of Biological Explanations for Poverty, Biopolitical TimesJanuary 2nd, 2014“The Biological Inferiority of the Undeserving Poor” sketches the history of biological explanations for social ills, and warns that we should pay close attention to their current resurgence. |
|The Case for a New Biopolitics, YouTubeDecember 11th, 2013A talk at UC Berkeley Extension for Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvouz (LASERs), a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience.|
|Review: The Sports Gene, Biopolitical TimesOctober 17th, 2013David Epstein’s new book is unfortunately named. Sports Genes? – with an emphasis on the question mark – would have been more accurate. Nonetheless, the author provides a thoughtful exploration of some very tricky terrain.|
|Outsourcing a Life[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky], San Francisco ChronicleSeptember 30th, 2013The Akanksha Infertility Clinic in Anand, India allowed a San Francisco Chronicle reporter and photographer full access to its facilities, except for the delivery room.|
|30 Years Later, A MacArthur 'Genius' Reflects[Discusses the work of CGS's Osagie Obasogie], WGBH NewsSeptember 26th, 2013Former MacArthur Foundation fellow Ramón Gutiérrez calls Osagie Obasogie's work on how blind people understand race the most interesting research he's come across lately.|
|More Concerns Over Familial DNA Searching, Biopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013A recent paper by Rori Rohlfs et. al., and two accompanying videos, suggest that real concerns still remain with familial searching in California's DNA databases.|
|Involuntary Sterilization Then and Now, Biopolitical TimesAugust 28th, 2013North Carolina will be the first US state to offer compensation to victims of state-sponsored forced sterilization programs. The decision marks a milestone in the long struggle for recognition of this tragic history, but what about the questionable sterilizations still taking place today?|
|African Genes Tracked Back, NatureAugust 27th, 2013Scientists say that they have traced a reverse migration that, in two steps, carried genes from the rest of the world back to southern Africa, long before European colonizers arrived.|
|The Empire Strikes Back, AnthropomicsAugust 19th, 2013New claims about the geneticist who collected samples from Native Americans to study diabetes, and then piggybacked research on schizophrenia without consent, compels us to revisit the case. |
|Welcome to the “Genetic Panopticon”, Biopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2013In a forceful blow to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people who have been arrested – but who have not been convicted, and may never be.|
|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.|