Social by Nature
The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics
Catherine Bliss



“Gangsta Gene” Identified in US Teens1

Single Forever? It’s in Your Genes2

Happiness Is in Your DNA; and Different Races May Have Different Propensities for It3

Sexual Orientation Not a Choice, but Is Influenced by Genetics4

Everyday more and more studies emerge that tell us about the genetics of who we are. From benign qualities like optimism and intelligence to darker attributes like the tendency toward rage, sexual promiscuity, and abuse, genetics is the new trope for knowing what makes us tick. And this is no longer simply a matter of medical issues or physiological traits like hypertension, depression, and bone density. Our genetics are increasingly said to be the cause of our fundamental beliefs and behaviors; if humans consistently do it, it must be in the genes.

As familiar as it may sound, the scientific drivers of this phenomenon are new. Despite centuries of nature-nurture debates and the long history of applying genetics to behavior, technology sophisticated enough to assess genetic causes for complex human traits and behaviors only emerged a little over a decade ago. Since the mapping of the human genome in the year 2000, scientists have gone from studying single genes and single-gene disorders to multifactorial “polygenic” traits and common disease. More recently, a cadre of scientists hailing from a range of scientific fields have trained their attention on nondisease matters. They have decided to tackle what they see as the Big Questions of human action: choice, desires, and thought.

The avalanche of research has been expeditious. In under a decade, scientists have teamed up across vast disciplinary divides to find innovative ways to combine traditional population genetic and demographic approaches with cutting-edge genomic methods, such that any human trait that demonstrates heritability can be analyzed genomically. They have formed informal research networks and formal scientific consortia that churn through the universe of known behaviors, subjecting trait after trait to the test. Researchers have leveraged shared strengths and built novel partnerships in which disciplinary approaches can be fused and synergistically reconfigured. The result has been an all-out transformation in how we do science, how we investigate what it means to be human, and how we understand the meaning of life.

A New Science Emerges

A new science has emerged as the leader in research and development along these lines: social genomics. Social genomics pairs the twin gold standards of genomic methodology (genomewide association study, or GWAS, and structural DNA analysis) with basic social research in order to find genetic causes for nondisease social phenomena such as educational attainment, gang membership, life satisfaction, and debt. The field is remarkably led by economists, political scientists, and sociologists who are new to genetics. These newcomers are directing studies in efforts to revolutionize genomic research methods so that social outcomes can be linked to genetic traits. The science has rapidly gained ground in public health and the public sphere, popularized as “genoeconomics,” “genopolitics,” and “genosociology.” And it has been successfully institutionalized in the form of global consortia and doctoral traineeships, headlining in venues such as Science, the American Journal of Public Health, NPR, and the New York Times, and garnering support from educators and public officials enthusiastic to apply social genomics findings and technologies.5 With its rapidly expanding support base of institutes such as the National Institute of Justice and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and its leadership in the genomics of nondisease phenomena like personality and intelligence, social genomics has made its mark as the pioneer in the genomics of behavior.

At the same time, social genomics has risen to power largely under the radar of mainstream genomics. Though the science has brought genomics to bear on an array of traits that are usually stigmatized in members of vulnerable populations—“social phenotypes” like aggression and impulsivity6—it has yet to provoke the kind of Establishment critique that prior attempts to characterize behavior have. Unlike the IQ debates of the 1970s, the fervent science-spanning response to The Bell Curve of the mid-1990s, or the 2005 biomedical TKO of geneticist Bruce Lahn’s racial brain-size claims, there have been no letters to the editor, no podcast rants, and nary an angry phone call. Social genomics is navigating the frontier seas of sociopolitical controversy with little need for a life vest—begging the question of how this new science can take hold in such a way.

Sociological field analysis provides a provocative lens for thinking about these issues. Analysts have long recognized that emergent scientific fields possess unique properties. While all sciences are defined by their specific expertise vis-à-vis other disciplines and professions, and their location in a historically situated institutional ecology,7 new fields are in a constant state of jurisdiction management, where members compete with other members and with those external to the field to protect, enhance, transform, and enlarge the field’s authority.8 Creating a new field involves controlling professional membership and expertise but also demarcating an independent identity from parent fields and others outside the field.9 Researchers call this process autonomization.10

Studies have shown that autonomization has a special relationship to controversy.11 As autonomizing fields work to distinguish their expertise from those outside their community, scientists often pursue controversial lines of research in order to set themselves apart from other members of their field or the arena of science that it occupies so that they can compete for a place in the limelight.12 New problematics and approaches can afford researchers access to newly available resources, social and symbolic capital, expertise over new jurisdictions, and even ethical legitimacy.13 This can propel fields into the public eye, garnering them notoriety for intellectual bravery. A sort of “new field cheer” can overtake a science, giving it the momentum to slide by the usual critical firing line.

Emergent science can also take the form of intellectual movements, or collective attempts to pursue research in the face of resistance from others in the science community.14 These controversial lines of research can be seen as helping scientists shine a critical light on the ethical crises that scientists themselves are facing.15 So even when sciences do not fully autonomize or institutionalize, their public activity can allow scientists to act upon a landscape of moral possibilities to shape mainstream political debates and ideologies.16

In a world where sociality is increasingly formed around genomic data, all scientists share a responsibility to enlighten the public on the ties between genes and the environment.17 Thinking about the implications of genomic data is no longer just a job for genomicists.18 Nevertheless, the social sciences from which much of social genomics arises are established fields that frequently maintain their jurisdiction by creating alternatives to, if not downright discounting, genetic explanations.19 Economists have asked what social circumstances encourage us to make the decisions we do in terms of markets and resources, work and education, and a whole host of other issues. Political scientists have wondered why we aggregate as we do and how different forms of government affect us. Sociologists have tried to understand how we are socialized into the people we are, how we form groups and interact in them. This is by no means an exhaustive list of topics that social scientists study, but it presents the overall causal framework that they work from, a system of cause and effect that moves from social factors to individual and collective behavior. This book thus asks, Why is social genomics emerging here and now? What is “in it” for the scientists leading the way? Is it all about publicity and controlling debates? In sociological terms, what are the political, institutional, and scientific motivations that are currently hidden within the supposed legacy of relations between the natural and social sciences?

Another issue at play is today’s global charge to create multidisciplinary “team science.” Despite the fact that disciplines and programs continue to hire their own,20 research has shown that academic institutions and research agencies, such as the European Union (EU), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), are pouring billions into multidisciplinary projects and sites in order to promote interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in the sciences,21 motivating some to argue that there is a “limited usefulness of terms such as ‘public’ and ‘private’ or ‘global,’ ‘regional,’ and ‘national’ to describe the actual structure of most collaborations, their emergence and outcomes.”22 These models promote a move away from field-based expertise in the interest of tackling specific critical social problems, such as global warming and obesity.

Despite their rejection of the pursuit of science for science’s sake, it is still unclear whether team science models are truly inter- or transdisciplinary in practice, versus whether they promote certain disciplinary interests over others.23 Much research has emphasized the hierarchical structure of the sciences, and the domination of “hard science” concepts and methods in multidisciplinary contexts.24 But sciences of similar stature have also been shown to successfully “bidirectionally” converge around shared methods and problems, or political goals.25 Thus this book also asks, What does the multidisciplinary terrain of social genomics look like? How do members of this science deliberate between basic theories and procedures, and how do they seek and find institutional support? Also, to what extent is social genomics fostering lasting ideological and institutional structures? Is social genomics just one instance of a fleeting trend or is it indicative of a new form of science?

Answers to these questions will expose how the science is taking hold in the broader science community, who is rewarded in this arena, and who stands to benefit from it.

The Genetic Politics of Difference

This book is also about the ways in which emerging genetic sciences redefine societal notions of human difference—including but not limited to America’s major axes of difference: race, gender, and sexuality.26 The ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetic research, including how experts use genetic research and how their uses impact racial minorities, women, and LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersexual) individuals, have become a leading priority area in public health and governance,27 and have produced a substantial body of research on the science’s detrimental influence over the general population.28 Historical research has shown that training a genetic lens on human traits and behaviors has traditionally led to deterministic notions of difference and to unethical and unscientific research applications, such as when early twentieth-century European and American governmental and political organizations used genetic findings to produce systematic eugenics programs, anti-immigration and forced sterilization campaigns, and the Nazi “Racial Hygiene” program.29 In the wake of World War II, as the atrocities of Nazism and Nazi science came to light, geneticists mobilized against prior approaches and applications.30 But despite advocacy against deterministic models, studies show that the tendency for experts to use genetics to explain variation in human traits and behaviors has only amplified with the availability of genomic technologies.31 Popular controversies over IQ and gay genes have revealed how genetic models continue to dominate discourse on nondisease human traits and behaviors for which few genomic studies exist.32 And though leaders of the genomics community have, in certain cases, spoken out against unreplicated claims,33 social genomics has become the new frontier in applied genomics, where judges and preschool administrators have begun implementing it to test criminals, prospective students, and even criminal corpses for prosocial and antisocial traits.34

Research has also shown that the application of genomic models to human traits and behaviors has fueled geneticization: the tendency for people to use genetic explanations to describe differences between individual and group traits and behaviors.35 Since the advent of genomics—the study of DNA sequences—the popular press has ramped up coverage of genetic findings while silencing scientific failures.36 Meanwhile, deterministic statements have increased since the 2000 publication of the draft map of the human genome.37 This proliferation of geneticized discourse, matched with the widespread availability of genetic tests, has fostered mass acceptance of genetic essentialism.38 For example, in the medical arena, where genetic research is depicted without attention to gene-environment interactions,39 patients increasingly interact with medical practitioners with a sense that the essence of who they are is determined by their personal genetic biology.40 Similarly, hierarchies in public funding that more readily sponsor DNA research have paved the way for research and healthcare programs that privilege genetic models over environmental explanations.41

Studies have proved that both geneticization and the advancement of geneticized models, also known as molecularization,42 have worse consequences for historically stigmatized groups, especially racial minorities.43 Historical analyses of the characterization of violence and social resistance in America have shown that genetically deterministic notions have incited stereotypes about the innate inferiority of racial minorities.44 Studies on contemporary lay beliefs have confirmed that genetically essentialist information increases prejudice and in-group bias, especially for those holding chronic deterministic beliefs.45 White Americans—who are significantly more likely than black Americans to attribute traits such as athleticism, math performance, drive to succeed, tendency toward violence, intelligence, and sexual orientation to genetics,46 and to accept genetics as the base cause for mental illness47—also are more likely to subscribe to genetic theories that uphold a greater prejudice toward blacks.48 While exposure to single messages and news headlines about genetics does not always increase people’s beliefs in genetic determinism, single messages that link genetics, race, and health do increase racist beliefs.49 Furthermore, exposure to multiple messages about genetics sparks genetically based racism and racist feelings in those who already hold racist sentiments.50 Although laypeople tend to understand race in terms of physical characteristics derived from an ambiguous combination of genetic and sociocultural factors, lay audiences that are already showing an increase in racial essentialism are likely to generalize genetic knowledge about physical traits to behavioral ones.51 This is especially harmful in the case of minority groups that are already stigmatized as having particular diseases.52

So far the only social groups seen to potentially benefit from the use of geneticized explanations and models are gay and lesbian adults. One study showed that saying genes were responsible for sexuality made study respondents less blameful of homosexuals and more likely to support gay and lesbian rights.53 Yet while studies have shown that determinism can motivate support for gay and lesbian domestic partnership and marriage, they have also shown that the same deterministic beliefs overall produce a deeper investment in genetic essentialism, which eventually leads to an increase in societal prejudice.54

These findings forecast serious problems for female, minority, and LGBTQI youth. Psychologists have shown that genetic stereotypes can create “stereotype threats,” wherein children and adolescents alter their behavior to meet stereotype schema.55 New genomic characterizations of behavior may therefore create powerful genetically deterministic stereotypes for already stereotyped youth. This can lead to problems with identity construction and social participation throughout childhood and adolescence,56 setting off a negative chain reaction in self-image, family relationships, and life planning, and eventually leading to worse life outcomes and possibly even shorter life spans.57

No one has examined these specific ramifications for disadvantaged youth, nor has anyone examined the impact of tests on youth in nonmedical settings. So far studies on youth have only focused on how genetic test reports make kids feel—whether they increase anxiety and decrease well-being in children,58 or whether the timing of their disclosure matters to them.59 None have explored how tests and other forms of genomic knowledge affect youth in the institutional contexts that are programmed to serve them, like schools and juvenile justice centers.60

This book seeks to expand these horizons in order to understand what genetics means for human difference inside and outside of biomedicine, and for these especially vulnerable social groups. Are geneticization and molecularization indeed advancing in the public sphere, and are they potentially creating new forms of inequality?

Surprisingly few studies have attempted to explain why genetic models so easily gain mileage in science.61 Those that have attempted to theorize causes have said that adopting genetic models helps sciences seem more scientific in a publicly appealing way.62 For example, by molecularizing environmental health science, the environmental sciences have gained scientific and public prestige so that they can better support their political goals of environmental justice while connecting to powerful institutions like the NIH.63 By molecularizing epidemiology and cognitive science, these fields have increased their public legitimacy while allowing them to expand to new research populations and communities.64

Yet this book will shine a light on genetic advocates of a different kind: members of established social science fields that produce findings for institutions that have no present affiliation with genetic science. It will tell us the unique reasons why genetics so widely appeals to nonmedical institutions and experts, and even non-experts.

Discoveries presented in this book—such as the finding that around the world science is attributing innate aggression and antisocial behavior to minority populations, which are then disproportionately investigated, arrested, convicted, and incarcerated, and which face institutionalized discrimination from a range of social institutions that are likely to adopt social genomics; or that men and women are being characterized as fundamentally different down to their DNA—will also contribute a new way of looking at the advancement of genetics. In an era in which medical institutions are partnering with prisons to form genomic databases that can be mined for behavioral traits,65 and in which racial and sexual profiling are being hotly debated for their utility,66 the extent to which behavioral traits are geneticized has direct implications for how experts in the broader public will make decisions about individuals over the life course, such as educational placement, college admissions, hiring, and criminal sentencing.67 This window into uses in the wider public will provide a new theory of geneticization that can illuminate novel causes and consequences pertaining to the twenty-first-century political and historical context.

From Science to Sidewalk

This book is based on a five-year study that began in the office of a nationally renowned public sociologist and ended on the politically charged streets of San Francisco. In 2012, just as my first book, Race Decoded,68 was hitting bookshelves across the nation, I made contact with a leading genosociologist, a professor and dean of a prominent private American university. He immediately introduced me to some of the seminal members of the field—researchers with international projects running in diverse metropolises who were founding professional associations and research institutes dedicated to social genomics. Within weeks, I was planning a trip to Europe to further get to know the global network of scholars with which I was increasingly in frequent communication. I had mapped out where scientists were headquartered, where they typically held research meetings, and where they got their data. I drew up my itinerary, packed my bags, and headed out.

From the earliest moments of my first social genomics meeting, I was struck by the complexity and richness of the field. I saw that the social researchers at the forefront of social genomics were not working alone. Nearly all were novices in genomics, and thus needed help from epidemiologists and medical geneticists who were well versed in genomic theory and method. Conferences were populated evenly by what I would call “genomics collaborators” and card-carrying social scientists, and the balance of hands it took to bring a study to completion seemed weighted in favor of these collaborators.

At my first meeting, I was also made aware of the many institutional representatives that had an interest in the field. There were leaders of national cohort studies who supplied, or were eager to supply, social genomicists with DNA samples. There were directors of funding agencies who sponsored particular meetings and studies, or were there popularizing new midcareer training grants to get social scientists trained in genetics and genomics. There were journal editors soliciting special issues for publication, and university administrators looking to recruit faculty. I came to call these attendees “institutional sponsors,” as they were always in some way championing the science and bringing it new opportunities for growth.

Finally, I saw a number of experts who attended simply because they were interested in the potential applications of the research. Some of these people were tied to the cohort studies that provided the samples to social genomicists. Others were academics from far afield who were connected to education, criminal justice, and healthcare. By the sheer numbers, then, you could say that genomic enthusiasts had just as big an interest in the development of this science as any one of its social science originators. I realized that any real understanding of this community would require deep analysis of all of these components.

As I studied on, I found that the diversity of this field was not limited to its population characteristics. Rather, its social contexts, or sites of production, were equally variegated. At the start of my project, I had envisioned going into the field and talking to the requisite experts in their usual venues, just as I had with my prior ethnographic study. In a typical “science study,” or qualitative analysis of a field, I would conduct observation and interviews in the academic labs, research centers, and other production sites where scientists bring together the necessary collaborators to meet and plan the collection, processing, and interpretation of genomic data, and to train other scientists, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and doctoral students. I would also observe the conferences, panels, policy forums, and science advisory meetings that constitute scientists’ work. This further observation would focus on venues that fund and facilitate genomics—public health agencies such as the NIH—and those academic, governmental/regulatory, and private sector sites in which scientists present and debate their research.

In contrast, a science study in this present community of research meant meeting scientists in hotel rooms as opposed to labs, watching the planning and execution of genomewide association studies and candidate gene studies via videoconference on Skype, and witnessing the various kinds of scientific decision making, like that which occurs around recruitment and sample coordination, also take place “in silico,” via the Web. Though much of any genomic study is “dry lab” work of computer-based data input, sharing, and analysis, social genomics research teams required a wider array of specialized scientists and computing power from all over the world to fill in the blanks of their expertise. More than lab space, social genomicists needed a good Internet connection. Still, scientists would meet for weeklong getaways face-to-face at least once during their collaboration on a study, thus taking me to secluded resorts, ranch homes and condos, and any other quiet forum where leadership teams could work privately in peace.

Similarly, studying social genomics sponsors and adopters meant not just frequenting public health agencies and biotechnology firms, but also going to schools, juvenile justice centers, and childcare facilities where early users like educational administrators, judges, and child welfare officials were applying or thinking about applying the research. And when I set out to observe public engagement, I found my job to be less about monitoring the science column of the New York Times and more about tracking pop media’s primetime like This American Life and The Colbert Report.

These new diversified populations and contexts brought a diversification of data. As in my prior work, I planned to rely primarily on observation and interview data that would come from a mix of shadowing participants, asking questions about procedures in progress, informal interviews, observation in which I participated in the interactions being observed, and observation in which I was more of a distant observer. And I knew I would rely on documentary data, including published studies, television and radio transcripts, blogs and websites, grant applications, recruitment and screening instruments, data collection instruments, data analysis and other study protocols, study records, unpublished reports, and published papers or abstracts.69

However, studying social genomics required that I incorporate observation data gathered from a whole new set of practices, such as judicial workarounds, teacher training and consultation, and digital platform integration across organizational networks. Likewise, understanding the ways experts access, appraise, and appropriate research evidence required that I gather documentary representations of their institutional policies, protocols, and principles, their lists of populations served and their fiscal sponsorship, as well as related patents, test licenses, and software programs. And with this wider public in mind, popular media and the broader nonmedical web that influenced them were more salient than ever to my research.

I would eventually find that social genomics’ vast network of scientific and political entities was part of an even bigger landscape of entities interested in understanding genes as a central rationale for behavior. What was happening in the sciences was merely a microcosm of the larger societal changes afoot. While each of these arenas has had different issues at heart, all have shared a common interest in what I have termed “the sociogenomic paradigm.”

The Evolution of Sociogenomics

As argued in Race Decoded, since the dawn of the genome era society has been moving toward a sociogenomic paradigm—a view of the world that sees all aspects of human biology and being as an interdependent mix of genetic and social factors.70 Race is a case in point. The sociogenomic paradigm follows certain philosophical arguments for the genetic reality of race and its continuing use in biomedicine, such as the notion that a cladistic, or tree-based, form of race is compatible with a social constructionist view of it. The basic idea is that even traits for which we have faulty knowledge, and which we only experience in partial ways, can be biologically real.71 In other words, all genetic and social classifications are arbitrary yet representative of a lived reality that draws from both fonts.

Looking at genomic characterizations of race, my research showed that genome mappers redefined race and health disparities as a product of feedback loops created by genomic ancestry and social ideas about the body, human difference, and health. Scientists responsible for seminal genome projects, who faced pressure from the US public health establishment and an array of experts on race, began to prioritize race-targeted research, minority recruitment into studies, and analysis of genomic health disparities. As a result, large-scale sequencing projects, pharmaceuticals, and genomic research have become ever more racialized, while race has taken on an irrevocably genomic imprimatur.

My research has also shown that genomics has likewise adopted a sociogenomic approach to health disparities, one which defines inequality as of a hybrid “gene-environment” nature requiring immediate expert attention. Yet this approach assumes that any moral indebtedness to racial minorities can be rectified with genomic research inclusion as opposed to economic and political change.72

Taken together, these analyses reveal that the sociogenomic paradigm finds a nurturing ground in many domains of society precisely because it has helped with significant ethical problems that scientists, policymakers, and other experts have faced. First, the sociogenomic paradigm has helped scientists think through insurmountable problems of diversity and group labeling, and persistent inequalities in health in the genomic era. Scientists and the public are continually faced with widening gaps in health and life outcomes between self-identified members of different races, with which they are morally charged to find solutions. Ignoring race is feared by many to potentially invite charges of “colorblindism” from minority advocates as well as experts on race.

Yet the sociogenomic paradigm also thrives because it has helped researchers, experts, and advocates interested in becoming leaders in public health to ally with health governance. Health governance institutions have promoted the use of racial classifications to engender inclusion in biomedicine, despite the wealth of studies that have shown that genetic ancestry does not correspond well with lay categories of race. These institutions have not encouraged scientists to devise alternative categories, but rather have increasingly required finer-toothed mechanisms for standardizing the use of social categories of race. Even those scientists with the largest research budgets and intellectual autonomy have adopted the tack of promoting minority inclusion along governmental categorical lines in their efforts to meet public goals for health equity and bring genomics into the fold of public health.

This kind of ethical empowerment is critical in the postgenomic age, “the period after the completion of the sequencing of the human genome [defined by] the advent of whole-genome technologies as a shared platform for biological research across many fields and social arenas,” when health equity is the watchword of the day for all scientists.73 Scientists have fashioned themselves as public reformers and stewards of justice. They maintain that it is their responsibility to be public intellectuals, to be visible in the political mainstream. Scientists hope that the rest of the biosciences, and the broader society, will catch up to them in their understanding of health equity, a view justified by expertise on the most essential piece of the puzzle: gene-environment relations.74

In this moment, public outreach and education is a top priority for science writ large. In fact, scientists write their commitments into their grant proposals and seek evidence of social goals in their reviews of others’.75 Scientists engage community groups and community-based representatives on ethical matters in the design phase of study planning.76 Funding agencies sponsor science advisory panels to broker research proposals between scientists and the public.77

And as suggested earlier, interdisciplinary collaboration is a leading priority for all the sciences in this moment. Thus, collaborations in the form of seminars, conferences, and joint publications allow scientists to bridge the chasm between social science and natural science, while providing opportunities for their expertise to shine beyond disciplinary borders. Scientists have become well versed in talking about their own biases and assumptions, and the potential for their identities to affect their science. Owning up to one’s position and partiality, prior to launching studies, is a mainstay of the postgenomic posture.

Likewise, local empowerment through knowledge production is a key metric of scientific success. Scientific collectives in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia push models such as collective innovation, genomic sovereignty, and multinational partnership in the interest of offering training and supportive outsourcing to the developing world.78 Individual researchers trade on their knowledge of specific communities to shuttle resources to underserved and vulnerable populations.79

Increasingly, then, being a “good scientist” requires the kind of ethical flexibility afforded by the sociogenomic paradigm. As historians of science Sarah Richardson and Hallam Stevens argue:

For many, postgenomics signals a break from the gene-centrism and genetic reductionism of the genomic age. As scientists narrate the history of the genome sequencing projects, they trace a path from a simplistic, deterministic, and atomistic understanding of the relationship between genes and human characters toward, in the postgenomic era, an emphasis on complexity, indeterminacy, and gene-environment interactions.80

The sociogenomic paradigm enables scientists to incorporate new areas of life to study, while potentially moving away from the tarnish of genetic essentialism.

A sociogenomic outlook also melds with the charisma-driven style of thought by which historian and sociologist of science Steven Shapin has characterized the biotechnology industry in the latter half of the twentieth century,81 and which I described in the case of genomic pioneers in the early twenty-first century, in which principal investigators and project leaders overtly rely on personality and display personal enthusiasm for social agendas to advance their scientific interests. It allows researchers to openly move through biomedicine, science, and society, appealing to a wide array of experts, so that they may align with various nongenomic scientists in the effort to bring a social equality framework into the heart of research.

In the pages that follow, I move from the particularities of bioscience outward to the general framework of popular understanding to further explore these issues of outlook, posture, and worldview. I explore the making of differences and disciplines in their own right, but also in relationship to one another, as essential pillars of our sociogenomic world.


1. Ewen Callaway, “‘Gangsta Gene’ Identified in US Teens,” New Scientist, 2009,

2. “Single Forever? It’s in Your Genes,” Independent OnLine, 2014,

3. “Transporter of Delight: Happiness Is in Your DNA; And Different Races May Have Different Propensities for It,” Economist, 2011,

4. “Sexual Orientation Not a Choice, but Is Influenced by Genetics.” Free Press Journal, 2014,

5. See, for example, C. Rietveld, S. Medland, J. Derringer, J. Yang, T. Esko, N. Martin, H.-J. Westra, et al., “GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment,” Science 340 (2013): 1467–71; N. Christakis, “Let’s Shake Up the Social Sciences,” New York Times, July 21, 2013,; “NY Preschool Starts DNA Testing for Admission,” NPR, 2012,; A. Stiny, “Warrior Gene” Defense Mounted in Santa Fe Murder Case,” Albuquerque Journal News, 2014,

6. See, for example, Kevin M. Beaver, Matt DeLisi, Michael G. Vaughn, and J. C. Barnes, “Monoamine Oxidase A Genotype Is Associated with Gang Membership and Weapon Use,” Comprehensive Psychiatry 51 (2010): 130–34; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and James H. Fowler, “The MAOA Gene Predicts Credit Card Debt,” SSRN eLibrary, 2010,; Laura Bevilacqua, Stéphane Doly, Jaakko Kaprio, Qiaoping Yuan, Roope Tikkanen, Tiina Paunio, Zhifeng Zhou, et al., “A Population-Specific HTR2B Stop Codon Predisposes to Severe Impulsivity,” Nature 468 (2010): 1061–66.

7. C. Camic, “Bourdieu’s Cleft Sociology of Science,” Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy 49, no.3 (2011): 275–93; A. Cambrosio and P. Keating, “The Disciplinary Stake: The Case of Chronobiology,” Social Studies of Science 13, no. 3 (1983): 323–53; M. Fourcade, Economists and Societies: Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

8. A. Clarke, “Reflections on the Reproductive Sciences in Agriculture in the UK and US, ca. 1900–2000+,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38, no. 2 (2007): 316–39; S. Cunningham-Burley and A. Kerr, “Defining the ‘Social’: Towards an Understanding of Scientific and Medical Discourses on the Social Aspects of the New Human Genetics,” Sociology of Health and Illness 21, no. 5 (1999): 647–68; W. Hong, “Domination in a Scientific Field Capital Struggle in a Chinese Isotope Lab,” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 4 (2008): 543–70.

9. T. F. Gieryn, “Contesting Credibility Cartographically,” in Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line, 27–64 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Aaron Panofsky, Misbehaving Science: Controversy and the Development of Behavior Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014); Catherine Bliss, Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).

10. S. Hilgartner, “The Dominant View of Popularization: Conceptual Problems, Political Uses,” Social Studies of Science 20, no. 3 (1990): 519–39; Pierre Bourdieu, “The State of the Question,” in Science of Science and Reflexivity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).

11. Panofsky, Misbehaving Science.

12. K. Nathaus and H. Vollmer, “Moving Inter Disciplines: What Kind of Cooperation Are Interdisciplinary Historians and Sociologists Aiming For?,” Journal of History and Science 1, no. 1 (2010),; Aaron Panofsky, “Generating Sociability to Drive Science: Patient Advocacy Organizations and Genetics Research,” Social Studies of Science 41, no. 1 (2011): 31–57.

13. D. L. Kleinman, Impure Cultures: University Biology and the World of Commerce (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003); R. V. Burri, “Doing Distinctions Boundary Work and Symbolic Capital in Radiology,” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 1 (2008): 35–62; M. H. Cooper, “Commercialization of the University and Problem Choice by Academic Biological Scientists,” Science, Technology and Human Values 34, no. 5 (2009): 629–53; K. Moore, Disrupting Science: Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945–1975 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008).

14. S. Frickel and N. Gross, “A General Theory of Scientific/Intellectual Movements,” American Sociological Review 70, no. 2 (2005): 204–32.

15. Paul Rabinow, Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); French DNA: Trouble in Purgatory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Anthropos Today: Reflections on Modern Equipment (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003); S. Shapin, The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).

16. J. Kempner, “The Chilling Effect: How Do Researchers React to Controversy?,” PLoS Med 5, no. 11 (2008): e222.

17. Adele Clarke, Jennifer Fishman, Jennifer R. Fosket, Laura Mamo, and Janet K. Shim, Biomedicalization: Technoscience, Health, and Illness in the US (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); Nikolas S. Rose, Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007); Sara Shostak, Exposed Science (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013).

18. Paul Rabinow, Essays on the Anthropology of Reason (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).

19. Dorothy Nelkin and M. Susan Lindee, The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004).

20. Jerry A. Jacobs and Scott Frickel, “Interdisciplinarity: A Critical Assessment,” Annual Review of Sociology 35 (2009): 43–65.

21. D. Stokols, S. Misra, R. P. Moser, K. L. Hall, and B. K. Taylor, “The Ecology of Team Science: Understanding Contextual Influences on Transdisciplinary Collaboration,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35, no. 2 (2008): S96–S115; S. M. Fiore, “Interdisciplinarity as Teamwork How the Science of Teams Can Inform Team Science,” Small Group Research 39, no. 3 (2008): 251–77.

22. Wesley Shrum, “Collaborationism,” in Collaboration in the New Life Sciences, edited by John N. Parker, Niki Vermeulen, and Bart Penders, 247–58 (London and New York: Routledge, 2016).

23. S. Laberge, M. Albert, and B. D. Hodges, “Perspectives of Clinician and Biomedical Scientists on Interdisciplinary Health Research,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 18, no. 11 (2009): 797–803; Michèle Lamont, G. Mallard, and J. Guetzkow, “Beyond Blind Faith: Overcoming the Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Evaluation,” Research Evaluation 15, no. 1 (2006): 43–55; D. Stokols, K. L. Hall, B. K. Taylor, and R. P. Moser, “The Science of Team Science: Overview of the Field and Introduction to the Supplement,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35, no. 2 (2008): S77–S89.

24. M. Albert, S. Laberge, and B. D. Hodges, “Boundary-Work in the Health Research Field: Biomedical and Clinician Scientists’ Perceptions of Social Science Research,” Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy 47, no. 2 (2009): 171–194; Pierre Bourdieu, Pascalian Meditations (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000); C. Brosnan, “The Significance of Scientific Capital in UK Medical Education,” Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy 49, no. 3 (2011): 317–32; S. Timmermans and M. Berg, The Gold Standard: The Challenge of Evidence-Based Medicine and Standardization in Health Care (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003).

25. See A. Chettiparamb, “Interdisciplinarity: A Literature Review,” in The Higher Education Academy: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group (Southampton, UK: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, 2007); P. A. Chow-White and T. Duster, “Do Health and Forensic DNA Databases Increase Racial Disparities?,” PLoS Med 8, no. 10 (2011): e1001100; Scott Frickel, “Mobilizing Science: Movements, Participation, and the Remaking of Knowledge,” Isis 101, no. 4 (2010): 923–23.

26. See, for example, Ruha Benjamin, People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013); G. C. Bowker and S. L. Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999); Steven Epstein, Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007); A. Goodman, D. Heath, and M. S. Lindee, Genetic Nature/Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); Sheila Jasanoff, Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011); Laura Mamo, Queering Reproduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007); Michael Montoya, Making the Mexican Diabetic: Race, Science, and the Genetics of Inequality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); Ann Morning, The Nature of Race (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); Alondra Nelson, The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (Boston: Beacon Press, 2015); Osagie Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky, Beyond Bioethics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016); Sarah Richardson, Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013); Dorothy Roberts, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (New Press, 2011).

27. F. S. Collins, E. D. Green, A. E. Guttmacher, and M. S. Guyer, on behalf of the US NHGRI, “A Vision for the Future of Genomics Research: A Blueprint for the Genomic Era,” Nature 422 (2003): 835–47; Geoff Spencer, “NHGRI Funds Researchers to Evaluate Standard Measures in Genomic Studies,” NIH: National Human Genome Research Institute, 2011,

28. Edwin Black, War against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (Dialog Press, 2008); Ladelle McWhorter, Racism and Sexual Oppression in Anglo-America: A Genealogy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009); R. Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988).

29. D. Nelkin and M. S. Lindee, The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004); D. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); W. Provine, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).

30. UNESCO, “The Race Question,” July 1950,

31. Troy Duster, Backdoor to Eugenics (New York: Routledge, 2003); S. Sarkar, Genetics and Reductionism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Panofsky, Misbehaving Science.

32. S. Richardson, “Race and IQ in the Postgenomic Age: The Microcephaly Case,” BioSocieties 6 (2011): 420–46; J. Brooks and M. Ledford, “Geneticizing Disease: Implications for Racial Health Disparities,” Center for American Progress, 2008,; R. Jordan-Young, Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010); Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (New York: Basic Books, 2000).

33. Michael Balter, “Brain Man Makes Waves with Claims of Recent Human Evolution,” Science 314 (2006): 1871–73.

34. “Can Your Genes Make You Murder?,” NPR, 2010,; B. Weiser, “Child Pornography Term Overturned Based on Judge’s Genetics Theory,” New York Times, January 29, 2011,; “NY Preschool Starts DNA Testing for Admission”; Gina Kolata, “Scientists to Seek Clues to Violence in Genome of Gunman in Newtown, Conn.,” New York Times, December 25, 2012,

35. A. Lippman, “Led (Astray) by Genetic Maps: The Cartography of the Human Genome and Health Care,” Social Science and Medicine 35 (1992): 1469–76; “Prenatal Genetic Testing and Screening: Constructing Needs and Reinforcing Inequities,” American Journal of Law and Medicine 17 (1991): 15–50; Evelyn Fox Keller, Daniel J. Kevles, and Leroy Hood, “Nature, Nurture and the Human Genome Initiative,” in The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992); Allison Morse, “Searching for the Holy Grail: The Human Genome Project and Its Implications,” Journal of Law and Health 13 (1999): 219.

36. Peter Conrad, “A Mirage of Genes,” Sociology of Health and Illness 21, no. 199: 228–41.

37. Alan V. Horwitz, “Media Portrayals and Health Inequalities: A Case Study of Characterizations of Gene X Environment Interactions,” Journal of Gerontology 60B (2005): 48–52; Emma Kowal and G Frederick, “Race, Genetic Determinism and the Media: An Exploratory Study Media Coverage of Genetics and Indigenous Australians,” Genomics, Society and Policy 8 (2012): 1–14.

38. I. Dar-Nimrod and S. Heine, “Genetic Essentialism: On the Deceptive Determinism of DNA,” Psychological Bulletin 137 (2011): 800–818.

39. Y. Cheng, C. Condit, and D. Flannery, “Depiction of Gene-Environment Relationships in Online Medical Recommendations,” Genetics in Medicine 10 (2008): 450–56.

40. E. F. Keller, “Nature and the Natural,” BioSocieties 3 (2008): 117–24; S. Melendro-Oliver, “Shifting Concepts of Genetic Disease,” Science Studies 17 (2004): 20–33.

41. I. De Melo-Martin, “Firing Up the Nature/Nurture Controversy: Bioethics and Genetic Determinism,” Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (2005): 526–30; D. Heath, R. Rapp, and K. S. Taussig, “Genetic Citizenship,” A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics (2004): 152–67; Jasanoff, Reframing Rights; Y. Tsai, “Geneticizing Ethnicity: A Study on the ‘Taiwan Bio-Bank,’East Asian Science, Technology and Society 4 (2010): 433–55; A. Clarke, J. Fishman, J. R. Fosket, L. Mamo, and Janet K. Shim, Biomedicalization: Technoscience, Health, and Illness in the US (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); C. Bliss, “Defining Health Justice in the Postgenomic Era,” in Postgenomics, edited by Sarah S. Richardson and Hallam Stevens (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015).

42. Soraya De Chaderevian and Harmke Kamminga, Molecularizing Biology and Medicine: New Practices and Alliances, 1910s–1970s (Amsterdam: Harwood, 1998); Lily Kay, The Molecular Vision of Life: Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation and the New Biology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Rose, Politics of Life Itself; Shostak, Exposed Science.

43. Roberts, Fatal Invention; Nelson, Social Life of DNA.

44. Jonathan Metzl, The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease (Boston: Beacon Press, 2009); Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

45. J. Keller, “In Genes We Trust: The Biological Component of Psychological Essentialism and Its Relationship to Mechanisms of Motivated Social Cognition,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88 (2005): 686–702.

46. Toby Jayaratne, “White and African-American Genetic Explanations for Gender, Class, and Race Differences.” National Institutes of Health, 2002.

47. J. Schnittker, J. Freese, and B. Powell, “Nature, Nurture, Neither, Nor: Black-White Differences in Beliefs about the Causes and Appropriate Treatment of Mental Illness,” Social Forces 78 (200): 1101–32.

48. Toby Epstein Jayaratne, Oscar Ybarra, Jane P. Sheldon, Tony N. Brown, Merle Feldbaum, Carla A. Pfeffer, and Elizabeth M. Petty, “White Americans’ Genetic Lay Theories of Race Differences and Sexual Orientation: Their Relationship with Prejudice toward Blacks, and Gay Men and Lesbians,” Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 9 (2006): 77–94.

49. Celeste M. Condit, R. L. Parrott, and Beth O’Grady, “Principles and Practice of Communication Processes for Genetics in Public Health,” in Genetics and Public Health in the 21st Century, edited by Muin J. Khoury, Wylie Burke, and Elizabeth Thomson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Celeste M. Condit, Alex Ferguson, Rachel Kassel, Chitra Thadhani, Holly Catherine Gooding, and Roxanne Parrott, “An Exploratory Study of the Impact of News Headlines on Genetic Determinism,” Science Communication 22, no. 4 (2001): 379–95; C. M. Condit, R. L. Parrott, B. R. Bates, J. Bevan, and P. J. Achter, “Exploration of the Impact of Messages about Genes and Race on Lay Attitudes,” Clinical Genetics 66 (2004): 402–8; B. R. Bates, K. Poirot, T. M. Harris, C. M. Condit, and P. J. Achter, “Evaluating Direct-to-Consumer Marketing of Race-Based Pharmacogenomics: A Focus Group Study of Public Understandings of Applied Genomic Medication,” Journal of Health Communication 9 (2004): 541–59.

50. John Lynch, Jennifer Bevan, Paul Achter, Tina Harris, and Celeste M. Condit, “A Preliminary Study of How Multiple Exposures to Messages about Genetics Impact on Lay Attitudes towards Racial and Genetic Discrimination,” New Genetics and Society 27 (2008): 43–56.

51. Jo C. Phelan, Bruce G. Link, and Naumi M. Feldman, “The Genomic Revolution and Beliefs about Essential Racial Differences a Backdoor to Eugenics?,” American Sociological Review 78 (2013): 167–91; C. Condit, A. Templeton, B. R. Bates, J. L. Bevan, and T. M. Harris, “Attitudinal Barriers to Delivery of Race-Targeted Pharmacogenomics among Informed Lay Persons,” Genetics in Medicine 5 (2003): 385–92; C. M. Condit, R. L. Parrott, T. M. Harris, J. Lynch, and T. Dubriwny, “The Role of ‘Genetics’ in Popular Understandings of Race in the United States,” Public Understanding of Science 13 (2004): 249–72; R. L. Parrott, K. J. Silk, M. R. Dillow, J. L. Krieger, T. M. Harris, and C. M. Condit, “Development and Validation of Tools to Assess Genetic Discrimination and Genetically Based Racism,” Journal of the National Medical Association 97 (2005): 980–90.

52. Pilar Ossorio and Troy Duster, “Race and Genetics: Controversies in Biomedical, Behavioral, and Forensic Sciences,” American Psychologist 60 (2005): 115–28; J. De Vries, M. Jallow, T. Williams, D. Kwiatkowski, M. Parker, and R. Fitzpatrick, “Investigating the Potential for Ethnic Group Harm in Collaborative Genomics Research in Africa: Is Ethnic Stigmatisation Likely?,” Social Science and Medicine 75 (2012): 1400–1407.

53. C. E. Tygart, “Genetic Causation Attribution and Public Support of Gay Rights,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 12 (2000): 259–75.

54. Ibid.; Jayaratne et al., “White Americans’ Genetic Lay Theories of Race Differences and Sexual Orientation.”

55. Claude Steele, “Stereotype Threat and African-American Student Achievement,” in Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students, edited by Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, and Asa Hilliard, 109–30 (Boston: Beacon Press, 2003); Matthew S. McGlone and Joshua Aronson, “Stereotype Threat, Identity Salience, and Spatial Reasoning,” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 27, no. 5 (2006): 486–93.

56. Andrea Farkas Patenaude, “Pediatric Psychology Training and Genetics: What Will Twenty-First-Century Pediatric Psychologists Need to Know?,” Journal of Pediatric Psychology 28, no. 2 (2003): 135–45.

57. Madelyn D. Freundlich, “The Case against Preadoption Genetic Testing,” Child Welfare 77, no. 6 (1998): 663–79.

58. S. Michie, M. Bobrow, and T. M. Marteau, “Predictive Genetic Testing in Children and Adults: A Study of Emotional Impact,” Journal of Medical Genetics 38, no. 8 (2001): 519–26; P. J. Malpas, “Predictive Genetic Testing of Children for Adult-Onset Diseases and Psychological Harm,” Journal of Medical Ethics 34, no. 4 (2008): 275–78; Christopher H. Wade, Benjamin S. Wilfond, and Colleen M. McBride, “Effects of Genetic Risk Information on Children’s Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Genetics in Medicine 12, no. 6 (2010): 317–26.

59. Pascal Borry, Mahsa Shabani, and Heidi Carmen Howard, “Is There a Right Time to Know? The Right Not to Know and Genetic Testing in Children,” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 42, no. 1 (2014): 19–27.

60. Even in research on adults, only one study of behavior genetic evidence on the adjudication of adult criminal behavior examined nondisease phenotypes and their relationship to institutional research uses. This study found that subjects posed as jurors who were presented with nongenetically and genetically rationalized vignettes held the greatest fear of “genetic and genetic + abuse conditions” and thus they held the greatest propensity to give harsher sentences for such individuals. Paul S. Appelbaum and Nicholas Scurich, “Impact of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on the Adjudication of Criminal Behavior,” Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online 42, no. 1 (2014): 91–100.

61. P. Conrad, “Genetic Optimism: Framing Genes and Mental Illness in the News,” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 25 (2001): 225–47; Cunningham-Burley and Kerr, “Defining the ‘Social’”; A. M. Hedgecoe, Narratives of Geneticization: Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Schizophrenia (London: University of London Press, 2000); Sara Shostak, “The Emergence of Toxicogenomics: A Case Study of Molecularization,” Social Studies of Science 35 (2005): 367–403; S. Shostak, P. Conrad, and A. V. Horwitz, “Sequencing and Its Consequences: Path Dependence and the Relationships between Genetics and Medicalization,” American Journal of Sociology 114 (2008): S287–S316.

62. A. M. Hedgecoe, “Terminology and the Construction of Scientific Disciplines: The Case of Pharmacogenomics,” Science, Technology and Human Values 28 (2003): 513–37; Peter Conrad, “Uses of Expertise: Sources, Quotes, and Voice in the Reporting of Genetics in the News,” Public Understanding of Science 8 (1999): 285–302.

63. Scott Frickel, Chemical Consequences: Environmental Mutagens, Scientist Activism, and the Rise of Genetic Toxicology (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004); Shostak, Exposed Science.

64. Montoya, Making the Mexican Diabetic; R. Rapp, “Chasing Science: Children’s Brains, Scientific Inquiries, and Family Labors,” Science, Technology and Human Values 36 (2011): 662–84; S. Shostak and M. Waggoner, “Narration and Neuroscience: Encountering the Social on the ‘Last Frontier of Medicine,’” in Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 13) (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, 2011), 51–74; Keith Wailoo, How Cancer Crossed the Color Line (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

65. Christian Torres, “Telemedicine Has More than a Remote Chance in Prisons,” Nature Medicine 16 (2010): 496.

66. Joseph Goldstein, “Judge Rejects New York’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy,” New York Times, August 13, 2013,; Michèle Alexandre, Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender (New York: Routledge, 2014).

67. Troy Duster, “Selective Arrests, an Ever-Expanding DNA Forensic Database, and the Specter of an Early Twenty-First-Century Equivalent of Phrenology,” in DNA and the Criminal Justice System: The Technology of Justice, edited by David Lazer (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004).

68. Bliss, Race Decoded.

69. Publications and news media were compiled through Google Scholar, Google, PubMed, and LexisNexis searches. As for other materials, such as unpublished documents, I obtained copies from researchers during interviews and observation.

70. Bliss, Race Decoded.

71. Robin O. Andreasen, “The Cladistic Race Concept: A Defense,” Biology and Philosophy 19, no. 3 (2004): 425–42.

72. Catherine Bliss, “Genetic Approaches to Health Disparities,” in Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 16 (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, 2015).

73. Sarah Richardson and Hallam Stevens, eds., Postgenomics: Biology after the Genome (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014).

74. Bliss, “Defining Health Justice in the Postgenomic Era.”

75. Bliss, Race Decoded.

76. Jantina De Vries, Muminatou Jallow, Thomas N. Williams, Dominic Kwiatkowski, Michael Parker, and Raymond Fitzpatrick, “Investigating the Potential for Ethnic Group Harm in Collaborative Genomics Research in Africa: Is Ethnic Stigmatisation Likely?,” Social Science and Medicine 75, no. 8 (2012): 1400–1407.

77. Jasanoff, Reframing Rights.

78. Vural Ozdemir, David S. Rosenblatt, Louise Warnich, Sanjeeva Srivastava, Ghazi O. Tadmouri, Ramy K. Aziz, Panga Jaipal Reddy, et al., “Towards an Ecology of Collective Innovation: Human Variome Project (HVP), Rare Disease Consortium for Autosomal Loci (RaDiCAL) and Data-Enabled Life Sciences Alliance (DELSA),” Current Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 9, no. 4 (2011): 243–51; Ruha Benjamin, “A Lab of Their Own: Genomic Sovereignty as Postcolonial Policy,” Policy and Society 28, no. 4 (2009): 341–55.

79. Catherine Bliss, “Translating Racial Genomics: Passages in beyond the Lab,” Qualitative Sociology 36 (2013): 423–44.

80. Richardson and Stevens, Postgenomics.

81. S. Shapin, The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).