Race, Genetics, and Science

This event was held on April 18, 2007 as part of the American Cultures Spotlight Series

Co-sponsoring provided by: The Science, Technology, and Society Center

Why doesn't it make sense to classify people into discrete biotic entities? Almost fifty years ago, it seemed as if this question, which had so marked much of U.S. history, had been definitively answered. In 1986, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Human Genome Initiative, the forerunner of today's Human Genome Project. Today with the dramatic emergence of genetic science, the long held assumption of negligible relationship between biology and race seems ready to itself be the site of reappraisal.

This roundtable will reflect on the relationship of race and genetics with the goal of asking, how do we expose our students to the complexities of the explosion in genetic information and technology? What intellectual tools do we direct them to? How do our own Berkeley scholars from a diverse set of disciplinary and analytic perspectives engage each other and their students in thoughtful and productive discussions about such issues?

Facilitated by: Professor Richard Candida-Smith, History

With Presenters:

Professor Troy Duster, Sociology

Professor Jasper Rine, Molecular and Cell Biology

Professor Charis Thompson, Rhetoric and Gender & Women's Studies