Science, Myth, and Culture
Do advances in genomic biology create a scientific rationale for long-discredited racial categories? Leading scholars in law, medicine, biology, sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology examine the impact of modern genetics on the concept of race. 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 science and popular culture.
This 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 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.
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
Health and science collections alike will find this college-level discussion offers important connections between science and cultural awareness of race, and makes for key reading for students and researchers alike.
An important strength of this timely,engaging, and readable book--and what distinguishes it from some others--is the claritywith which it demonstrates how genomics findings in one discipline... are applied to others...
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: How Science Embraced the Racialization of Human Populations Sheldon KrimskyPart I. Science and Race: Historical and Evolutionary Perspectives1. A Short History of the Race Concept, by Michael Yudell2. Natural Selection, the Human Genome, and the Idea of Race, by Robert PollackPart II. Forensic DNA Databases, Race, and the Criminal Justice System3. Racial Disparities in Databanking of DNA Profiles, by Michael T. Risher4. Prejudice, Stigma, and DNA Databases, by Helen WallacePart III. Ancestry Testing5. Ancestry Testing and DNA: Uses, Limits, and Caveat Emptor, by Troy Duster6. Can DNA "Witness" Race? Forensic Uses of an Imperfect Ancestry Testing Technology, by Duana FullwileyPart IV. Racialized Medicine7. BiDil and Racialized Medicine, by Jonathan Kahn8. Evolutionary Versus Racial Medicine: Why it Matters?, by Joseph L. Graves, Jr.Part V. Intelligence and Race9. Myth and Mystification: The Science of Race and IQ, by Pilar N. Ossorio10. Intelligence, Race, and Genetics, by Robert J. Sternberg, Elena L. Grigorenko, Kenneth K. Kidd, and Steven E. StemlerPart VI. Contemporary Culture, Race, and Genetics11. The Elusive Variability of Race, by Patricia J. Williams12. Race, Genetics, and the Regulatory Need for Race Impact Assessments, by Osagie K. ObasogieConclusion: Toward a Remedy for the Social Consequences of Racial Myths, by Kathleen SloanList of ContributorsIndex