The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome
Alondra Nelson, Dean of Social Science and Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, will give the 27th Annual Nicholas C. Mullins Lecture in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. The lecture, entitled "The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome", will be held on Friday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. in 3100 Torgersen Hall. Dean Nelson's lecture receives support from Africana Studies, the College of Science, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Department of English, the Office for Inclusion and Diversity, and the Department of Science, Technology, and Society.
"The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome", Alondra Nelson
DNA is considered a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is revelatory. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites, and a booming heritage tourism circuit. African Americans' interest in genetic ancestry testing has been especially robust. DNA- based techniques are being used to grapple with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with ancestral homelands, to rethink citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations. As Nelson will describe, for good and for naught, the double helix has wound its way into the heart of some of the most urgent contemporary social issues around racial inequality.