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Alondra Nelson
Alondra Nelson
Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
The Social Life of DNA: Racial Politics after the Genome
The Social Life of DNA: Racial Politics after the Genome
Why are we so fascinated by by using genetics to find our roots? The use of DNA testing to narrow down ancestry is a key example of the 'genomic age' we live in--and has nearly become a national pastime. Why are we suddenly so interested in genetic genealogy? In her talk, Nelson will show us that the answer is more complex than it seems. New technologies are essential to this rise in genetic-obsession, but DNA testing is also intimately connected to how we create our individual and collective identities and to the racial politics of the U.S. Nelson will argue that these connections reveal the true stakes of racial inequality in the 21st century. Can we live in a society in which people believe that science alone can confirm identity, guarantee recompense, or engender justice?
AYZA Wine & Chocolate Bar
1 7th Avenue South
New York, NY 10014, USA
Bio
Alondra Nelson is the Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University whose research has focused upon ethnicity, race, and healthcare systems. One of her books, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discriminationwrites, has won numerous awards and was the first full-length publication about the Black Panther Party's health-focused actions. Nelson also writes about the intersections of science, technology, and inequality. Her essays, reviews, and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Science, Scientific American, and the Guardian. Her newest book, titled “The Social Life of DNA”, will be published by Beacon Press later this year.