Genomics and the Conundrum of Race Some Epistemic and Ethical Considerations

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (3):357-372 (2010)
The utility of a notion testifies not to its clarity but rather to the philosophic importance of clarifying it. Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries. This remark is true in all the sciences. The genomic revolution raised hopes that the putative utility of race in biomedicine could be grounded in the view that race has a biological reality and scientific validity (Burchard et al. 2003; Risch et al. 2002). However, the rebuttal of the contention that race is a biological category has been sharp among genomic scientists (Cooper, Kaufman, and Ward 2003; Long and Kittles 2003; Serre and Pääbo 2004). Some researchers worry about the reification of race in science and ..
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