What Do Genomics Studies Really Mean? A New Resource

Hastings Center Report 51 (2):inside_front_cover-inside_front_ (2021)
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Abstract

Research on how genetics contribute to human behavior and achievement raises many bioethical questions. What are we to make, for example, of a study published last year that found that students with genetic variants associated with educational attainment (years of education) took more advanced math classes in ninth grade? Does this finding have implications for education practice? Should it? How so? Questions like these serve as reminders that genetic science has long been misused to draw conclusions about individuals and groups of people, conclusions laced with racism and other biases. As research on human genomics ramps up, now is the time to ramp up science communication about what these studies do and, importantly, do not show. A new feature on The Hastings Center's website does just that.

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Sarah Gilbert
Oxford University

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