Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the summer of 1991, population geneticists and evolutionary biologists proposed to archive human genetic diversity by collecting the genomes of "isolated indigenous populations." Their initiative, which became known as the Human Genome Diversity Project, generated early enthusiasm from those who believed it would enable huge advances in our understanding of human evolution. However, vocal criticism soon emerged. Physical anthropologists accused Project organizers of reimporting racist categories into science. ...

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Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics

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Overview

In the summer of 1991, population geneticists and evolutionary biologists proposed to archive human genetic diversity by collecting the genomes of "isolated indigenous populations." Their initiative, which became known as the Human Genome Diversity Project, generated early enthusiasm from those who believed it would enable huge advances in our understanding of human evolution. However, vocal criticism soon emerged. Physical anthropologists accused Project organizers of reimporting racist categories into science. Indigenous-rights leaders saw a "Vampire Project" that sought the blood of indigenous people but not their well-being. More than a decade later, the effort is barely off the ground.

How did an initiative whose leaders included some of biology's most respected, socially conscious scientists become so stigmatized? How did these model citizen-scientists come to be viewed as potential racists, even vampires?

This book argues that the long abeyance of the Diversity Project points to larger, fundamental questions about how to understand knowledge, democracy, and racism in an age when expert claims about genomes increasingly shape the possibilities for being human. Jenny Reardon demonstrates that far from being innocent tools for fighting racism, scientific ideas and practices embed consequential social and political decisions about who can define race, racism, and democracy, and for what ends. She calls for the adoption of novel conceptual tools that do not oppose science and power, truth and racist ideologies, but rather draw into focus their mutual constitution.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Republic - David J. Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman
In science and medicine the category of race has not merely survived, it has flourished. In this post-human genome era, it serves as an essential organizing concept for research and presentation of data. How race managed to overcome its past, why it continues to be used, and what the implications are for both science and society, are the subjects of Jenny Reardon's smart, informative, and aptly titled book.
Science - Henry T. Greely
Reardon has written a valuable book . . . Although Reardon does not provide the story of the HGDP, she offers a useful story of the problems that effort faced.
From the Publisher
"In science and medicine the category of race has not merely survived, it has flourished. In this post-human genome era, it serves as an essential organizing concept for research and presentation of data. How race managed to overcome its past, why it continues to be used, and what the implications are for both science and society, are the subjects of Jenny Reardon's smart, informative, and aptly titled book."—David J. Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman, The New Republic

"Reardon has written a valuable book . . . Although Reardon does not provide the story of the HGDP, she offers a useful story of the problems that effort faced."—Henry T. Greely, Science

Science
Reardon has written a valuable book . . . Although Reardon does not provide the story of the HGDP, she offers a useful story of the problems that effort faced.
— Henry T. Greely
The New Republic
In science and medicine the category of race has not merely survived, it has flourished. In this post-human genome era, it serves as an essential organizing concept for research and presentation of data. How race managed to overcome its past, why it continues to be used, and what the implications are for both science and society, are the subjects of Jenny Reardon's smart, informative, and aptly titled book.
— David J. Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400826407
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/9/2009
  • Series: In-Formation
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jenny Reardon is Assistant Research Professor of Women's Studies and Institute of Genome Sciences and Policy Scholar at Duke University..
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Post-World War II expert discourses on race 17
Ch. 3 In the legacy of Darwin 45
Ch. 4 Diversity meets anthropology 74
Ch. 5 Group consent and the informed, volitional subject 98
Ch. 6 Discourses of participation 126
Ch. 7 Conclusion 157
App Human genome diversity project time line 175
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