Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture

Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture


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Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture by Sheldon Krimsky

Leading scholars from a range of disciplines, including law, biology, sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology, examine the impact of modern genetics on the concept of race. Does mapping the human genome reconstitute a scientific rationale for long-discredited racial categories? Contributors trace the interplay between genetics and race in forensic DNA databanks, the biology of intelligence, DNA ancestry markers, and racialized medicine. Each essay explores commonly held and unexamined assumptions and misperceptions about race in both science and popular culture.

Divided into six major categories, the collection begins with the historical origins and current uses of the concept of "race" in science. It follows with an analysis of the role of race in DNA databanks and its reflection of racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Essays then consider the rise of recreational genetics in the form of for-profit testing of genetic ancestry and the introduction of racialized medicine, specifically through an FDA-approved heart drug called BiDil, marketed to African American men. Concluding sections discuss the contradictions between our scientific and cultural understandings of race and the continuing significance of race in educational and criminal justice policy, not to mention the ongoing project of a society that has no use for racial stereotypes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231156967
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sheldon Krimsky is professor of urban and environmental policy and planning and adjunct professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University. He is the author of nine books, including Science in the Private Interest: Has the Lure of Profit Corrupted Biomedical Research? and Genetic Justice: DNA Databanks, Criminal Justice, and Civil Liberties. Krimsky has consulted for the Presidential Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He has published more than 175 essays and reviews that explore the normative dimensions and moral implications of science in its social context.

Kathleen Sloan is a human rights advocate specializing in global feminism. She has run nonprofit organizations for more than twenty years and has directed communications and public relations functions for multinational corporations and nonprofits. She has also organized a national conference on the impact of forensic DNA databanks on racial disparities in the criminal justice system for the Council for Responsible Genetics, and she oversees its race and genetics and women and biotechnology programming. Sloan has created a collaborative project on surrogacy and leads an international working group calling for a United Nations Declaration on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs), reproductive trafficking, and human rights. A member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW), she is also its main representative at the United Nations. Sloan gave the lead presentation at the fifteenth session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on the media's sexual commodification of women and girls and its impacts on their human rights.

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Science Embraced the Racialization of Human Populations
Sheldon Krimsky
Part I. Science and Race: Historical and Evolutionary Perspectives
1. A Short History of the Race Concept, by Michael Yudell
2. Natural Selection, the Human Genome, and the Idea of Race, by Robert Pollack
Part II. Forensic DNA Databases, Race, and the Criminal Justice System
3. Racial Disparities in Databanking of DNA Profiles, by Michael T. Risher
4. Prejudice, Stigma, and DNA Databases, by Helen Wallace
Part III. Ancestry Testing
5. Ancestry Testing and DNA: Uses, Limits, and Caveat Emptor, by Troy Duster
6. Can DNA "Witness" Race? Forensic Uses of an Imperfect Ancestry Testing Technology, by Duana Fullwiley
Part IV. Racialized Medicine
7. BiDil and Racialized Medicine, by Jonathan Kahn
8. Evolutionary Versus Racial Medicine: Why it Matters?, by Joseph L. Graves, Jr.
Part V. Intelligence and Race
9. Myth and Mystification: The Science of Race and IQ, by Pilar N. Ossorio
10. Intelligence, Race, and Genetics, by Robert J. Sternberg, Elena L. Grigorenko, Kenneth K. Kidd, and Steven E. Stemler
Part VI. Contemporary Culture, Race, and Genetics
11. The Elusive Variability of Race, by Patricia J. Williams
12. Race, Genetics, and the Regulatory Need for Race Impact Assessments, by Osagie K. Obasogie
Conclusion: Toward a Remedy for the Social Consequences of Racial Myths, by Kathleen Sloan
List of Contributors

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