Policy ForumGenetics

Toward a New Vocabulary of Human Genetic Variation

Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1337-1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074447

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This paper proposes a new framework for engaging in a dialogue about the validity of race as a variable genetic variation research. Rather than arguing for or against race, or proposing a substitute such as genetic markers or ethnicity, the paper asks researchers to carefully consider for what purpose they are using race, to define and use the term consistently, and to be aware that race is not a fixed biological entity, but only one way among many to describe human variation.