Past Event

Genes, Race, and Ancestry: The Meanderings of Two Sociologists in the Weeds of Genetic Methods

October 22, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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Presbyterian Hospital Building (Room 10-405A&B), Columbia University, 622 West 168th Street, New York

Sociologists understand race as a social construct, and assumed that this was the accepted position in genetics as well after the Human Genome Project was completed in 2000.  But to their surprise, the notion of race as a genetic construct has witnessed a strong resurgence. Indeed, it is considered an ethical issue to include members of underrepresented minority groups in medical studies to ensure that we don’t overlook “their genes.” In response, Profs. Bates and Schwartz examined the methods and the state of the evidence about these conclusions to come to some informed judgments. This presentation reports their journey to date and provides an opportunity for input from attendees about any wrong turns or unseen vistas.  


  • Lisa Bates, ScD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health
  • Sharon Schwartz, PhD., Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health

This event is part of the "Seminar on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics" series hosted by the Center for Research on Ethical/Legal/Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics in Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center

For further information or to convey suggestions about future speakers, contact Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, Department of Psychiatry, at 646-774-8630 or [email protected].