New Book on Race and Genetics from the Council for Responsible Genetics

by jeeg 13. September 2011 01:56

Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth and Culture

Edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan

Columbia University Press


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 in Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth and 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.  Each essay explores commonly held and unexamined assumptions and misperceptions about race in science and popular culture.

“This important new volume is an invaluable contribution to the scholarship on race and genetics and represents everything that CRG is about-bringing together experts to provide a science-based source of credible, trusted, current and reliable information on the impacts and implications of developments in biotechnology” declared CRG President Jeremy Gruber. 

Available at booksellers everywhere including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Order Online from Columbia University Press: and enter code RACKR for a 30% discount.


"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


Since 1983, the Council for Responsible Genetics has represented the public interest and fostered public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies.  CRG is a leader in the movement to steer biotechnology toward the advancement of public health, environmental protection, equal justice, and respect for human rights.




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