304 pages, 1 line drawing, 4 tables
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.
There is perhaps no issue that is of more interest and relevance to the social study of science and public health than race and genetics, and Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan are leaders in the field. Novel and forward thinking, this book will be a valuable addition to a literature that needs to be brought up to speed. -- David Rosner, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University A signal contribution. This volume wonderfully reflects the mission and track record of the Council for Responsible Genetics in clarifying the content and social significance of complex scientific issues and demystifying the ideological penumbras that surround them. I can hardly wait for this book to begin circulation. It should be read and taught as widely as possible. -- Adolph Reed Jr., University of Pennsylvania Essential reading for researchers, students, and policymakers seeking to challenge the new racial genetics. -- Dorothy Roberts, author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
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