Researchers Call for an End to the Use of Genetic Concepts of Race in Biological Research
Filed in Research & Studies on February 12, 2016
A group of scholars from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University in Philadelphia, and the American Museum of Natural History have published a paper in the journal Science calling for an end to the use of genetic concepts of race in biological research.
The authors write that ““we believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research — so disputed and so mired in confusion — is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way.” They recommend that instead of race, researchers refer to population groups in terms of ancestry or population group.
The authors go on to say that they hope to “strengthen scientific research by thinking more carefully about human genetic diversity and to responsibly engage in a century long dialogue about the role of race and its impact on biology and society.”
Among the authors of the study is Dorothy Roberts, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and in the departments of Africana studies and sociology. Professor Roberts joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 after teaching at the Northwestern University School of Law. A graduate of Yale University, Professor Roberts earned her law degree at Harvard Law School. She is the author of several books including Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011).
The article, “Taking Race Out of Human Genetics,” can be accessed here.