Future Perfect: How Does Race Matter?

May 22, 2007

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New research that aims to identify shared genetic markers challenges some traditional concepts of race and ethnicity, and may reinforce others. Do the results of this research reduce people to a set of genetic traits, perpetuate old forms of discrimination, and put certain populations at risk for further oppression? How do we ensure that racial and ethnic groups maintain self-definition and self-control as genetic science advances?

There is a scientific revolution taking place that has the potential to change American society in profound ways. Advances in genetics hold much promise for combating disease, feeding more people, and generally improving our quality of life. Yet, these new sciences and technologies draw criticism and evoke fears. In the next decade, major decisions about genetics will be made. This town hall meeting begins a robust civic conversation about the ethics and implications of advances in genetic science.  Leading authorities in genetic medicine, bioethics, social thought, and the arts engage the audience in an exploration of the issues and the science that are affecting public and private life.

 

Recorded Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at DuSable Museum of African American History.