Some Social Implications of the Molecular Biological Revolution (The Human Genome Project)

Troy Duster - New York University (About the author)


Topics of Interest to the SENCER Community

A Deep Discussion of the Potential Uses and Abuses of Genetic Mapping Technologies

  • Includes a brief summary of basic genetic principles and the Human Genome Project.
  • Provides concrete examples of applications to which genetic mapping has been used.

Discusses the Scientific Background Against Which Controversies Like Mammalian Cloning, Stem-Cell Research, Interventions Against Genetic Profiling of Criminal Behavior

  • Informs the reader about projects taken up by the scientific community that have attempted to come to terms with the ethical implications of germline interventions against genetic disorders.

  • The social and ethical difficulty in addressing genetic realities of race against the unethical uses to which such information can be put.

  • A thorough discussion of these difficulties in the context of the UNESCO and American Anthropological Association's statements about race.

Addresses the Implications of Race as a Social Category and the Biological Realities of Physical Difference

  • Blood phenotypes are used as a case study for illustrating the way that genetics plays a controversial role in the construction of race as a social category.
  • The use of DNA databases to create genetic profiles according to social categories of race that may be of potential help in addressing the specific afflictions and reactions to treatments and medications among particular ethnic groups.
  • The use of genetics to attempt to profile criminals and find root causes of criminal behavior despite spurious scientific links between genetic and behavior.

Full Report

Some Social Implications of the Molecular Biological Revolution (Acrobat (PDF) 102kB Jul17 08)