A Conversation on the Teaching of Race, Genetics and Science

Time: 1-3pm
Location: Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Facilitator: Professor Richard Candida-Smith, History

Professor Troy Duster, Sociology
Professor Jasper Rine, Molecular and Cell Biology
Professor Charis Thompson, Rhetoric and Gender & Women's Studies

Refreshments available after the event in The American Cultures Center, 120 Wheeler Hall

Co-sponsoring provided by: The Science, Technology, and Society Center

Why doesn't it make sense to classify people into discrete biotic entities? Almost fifty years ago, it seemed as if this question, which had so marked much of U.S. history, had been definitively answered. In 1986, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Human Genome Initiative, the forerunner of today's Human Genome Project. Today with the dramatic emergence of genetic science, the long held assumption of negligible relationship between biology and race seems ready to itself be the site of reappraisal.

This roundtable will reflect on the relationship of race and genetics with the goal of asking, how do we expose our students to the complexities of the explosion in genetic information and technology? What intellectual tools do we direct them to? How do our own Berkeley scholars from a diverse set of disciplinary and analytic perspectives engage each other and their students in thoughtful and productive discussions about such issues?