IntroductionA new book explores a vital issue
Egenis Director Professor John Dupré has contributed a chapter to an “important, timely, and richly informative” new book on genomics and race.
Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, edited by Barbara Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee and Sarah Richardson, examines the social, political and ethical dimensions of emerging genetic research on race.
In his chapter, ‘Why there are no genes for race’, Professor Dupré examines the concept of the gene and the complexity of gene action in development and phenotypic variability. In the words of the editors he “shows that claims of a genetic basis of race fit none of (the) conventional understandings of genetic causation and explanation”.
“Talk of the genetic basis of race has resurfaced in the aftermath of spectacular progress in the development of genetic technologies, most especially technologies that provide genetic tests, allegedly ‘for race’“, writes Professor Dupré. But, he goes on, “Unfortunately, the further these discussions move away from the technical contexts in which these genetic tests originate, the more misunderstandings appear.”
Other chapters are contributed by, among others, Lawrence Bobo, Richard Lewontin and Jonathan Marks. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age is published by Rutgers University Press.p>
“This important, timely, and richly informative volume examines the diverse implications of modern human genetics for one of the most challenging and vexing constructs ever devised for describing humans: 'race'." William W. Dressler, University of Alabama