Racial Justice

Most scientists and social scientists agree that there is no biological basis for race. Yet the idea that racial groups can be found in biology continues to make its way into human genetic research and biotechnologies. Some common examples include genetic studies on racialized health disparities, direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry tests, and forensic DNA databases. These products and practices typically try to reduce race to a set of biological markers, and fail to address the social, political, environmental, and economic inequalities that continue to make race a salient social category. Critical race scholars and racial justice advocates alike seek to promote public awareness and regulatory oversight of biotechnology to ensure that genetics isn’t used to exploit or reinforce existing institutional racial inequalities.


Biopolitical Times

David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard, is the author of a new best-selling book, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. It was reviewed in Nature as a “thrilling account of mapping humans through time and place.” On March 23, Reich had the great good fortune to promote it with a 2500-word essay on the front page of The New York Times Sunday Review. That...

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As the genomics revolution finally turns its attention to Africa and northern researchers flock there to collect data, scientists from the continent are demanding a larger role in projects.

On 18 April, a group of Africa-based researchers issued guidelines for...

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Rosie Zaballos liked to host playtime tea parties and was sweet to everyone she met. But her older brother worried...

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When the DNA results came back, even Lukis Anderson thought he might have committed the murder.

“I drink a lot,”...

Two upright pill bottles, one pill lying down, and several loose pills, all on top of a black table

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The letters A C T G repeat in primary colors descend down a screen

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DIgital illustration of dna in vials of different colors.

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Researcher extracts DNA from a test tube using a micropipette.

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Photograph of the Mexican-U.S. border at Nopales showing fence and cities on either side.

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Lonely road stretching into the distance with the U.S. Mexico border wall flanking it.

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