Policy ForumMedicine

Race and Reification in Science

Science  18 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5712, pp. 1050-1051
DOI: 10.1126/science.1110303

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Summary

The use of the concept of race in pharmacogenomics, forensics, and human molecular genetics continues apace, despite the imprecision of the category and the growing number of voices suggesting caution, and even a "sunset clause" for its continued deployment. The new technologies that can generate SNP patterns and profiles for any population have created an ever growing risk that racial categories will be mistakenly re-inscribed as "genetic." The author of this Policy Forum urges geneticists to counter this problem actively by the way they report their findings.

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