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Lecture: The Postgenomic Condition
April 29 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
St. Olaf College will host a Science Conversation Public Lecture, sponsored by the Leraas Endowment, titled The Postgenomic Condition: Truth, Race, and Justice after the Genome.
Monday, April 29, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Regents Hall of Natural Sciences 150
Professor of Sociology
Director, Science & Justice Research Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: The Postgenomic Condition: Truth, Race, and Justice after the Genome
Abstract: At the end of the last millennium, the proposal of the Human Genome Diversity Project and the immanent publication of Herrnstein and Murray’s (1994) controversial bestseller, The Bell Curve, sparked worries that the new science of genomics would reignite scientific racism. Since WWII, human geneticists have labored to distance the study of human genes from eugenics and the Nazi regime. Would those efforts, and the possibility of a genomic account of human differences, be undone before human genome research had even really begun? To avert this possibility, in the wake of the sequencing of the human genome—or the postgenomic era—genome scientists and their supporters proposed a new ‘democratic’ approach to genomics. In several high profile cases, they offered to give back to “the people” the power to define themselves, and to control use of their DNA. Yet the problem of race and racism persisted. This talk explains how and by what means debates about ‘race’ and racism have remained central and formative of the postgenomic condition.