Log in


Since the discovery of the structure of DNA nearly 70 years ago, genetics has garnered significant amounts of academic attention in a wide variety of fields and likewise has captured the imagination of the media and lay public. Furthermore, the advances in the academic understanding of genetics, and now genomics, has had wide-reaching implications for many other disciplines like anthropology, biology, medicine, history, agronomy, and criminal justice and also now has commercial appeal and applications. Consequently, the ways that people encounter and engage with their own identity, health, and at times reproduction has dramatically changed as a direct result of the increasing knowledge and application of genetic information. As collective knowledge about genetics expands, so does the potential for the misuse of this information and its capacity to cause great harm to people and other living beings. In response to this surge of knowledge, increased accessibility of genetic information, as well as the dangers of misinformation, the AAAG saw a need to create a reputable source of quality information about the scientific and social implications of genetic information. The resulting resource list is therefore aimed to inform readers about contemporary genetics and ideally lessen the potential for misinterpretation of genetic information.  

This resource list contains materials regarding recent studies on a variety of subject matters related to genetics and genomics. Each resource was systematically reviewed and curated by a panel of elected members of AAAG based upon the quality and credibility of the materials presented. While the vast majority of the list will contain peer-reviewed research, any resources that are not peer-reviewed will be clearly labeled as such. Well cited publications may be included as a resource; however, to be as inclusive as possible, the resource list also explicitly includes work from researchers from marginalized communities and perspectives. While this resource list is not an exhaustive list of all published studies available on a given topic, it is a vetted sample of research studies that best conveys reliable information. Finally, while some of AAAG membership’s work may be part of this resource list, this is not a venue that was designed to highlight or promote any particular researcher, but rather was specifically created to aid any person interested in locating quality information about contemporary genetic and genomic work. This resource list may be of use to students, the lay public, academics, journalists, and other professionals interested in identifying competent sources of information about genetics.

This resource list is alphabetically organized by subject matter and is periodically updated by members of the AAAG Outreach and Education committees. Suggestions for additions to the resource list may be emailed to the current Chairs of the Outreach Committee and the Education Committee.

Click on Links Below to learn more information on each section

  1. Race, Ancestry, and Genetics: This section includes news articles, peer-reviewed scientific articles, podcasts, and educational material related to genetic variation, race, identity, and ancestry. In particular, it features texts discussing how these concepts are intertwined and that show the limitations and nuances of these concepts. In addition, this section includes literature on how the pseudoscientific discourse has appropriated and misused the concept of genetic ancestry, explicitly debunking its arguments. 

  2. Ethics: These resources focus on the ethics underlying how researchers practice their science inclusive of the ethics of sampling, capacity building, community engagement, ‘parachute’ (extractive) science, and ethics review (IRB). These resources are not exclusively about research on living humans, but also include the implications for genetic research involving Ancestors (e.g. ancient DNA, sediment DNA, and archaeogenetics) and nonhuman primates.

  3. Genetics and Education: Here, we present pedagogical resources on methods and approaches to teaching human genetics and topics related to genetic ancestry, which seek to improve education at different levels of instruction and prevent the misuse of relevant concepts. In addition, we present a resource on how teaching about the history of eugenics can help students learn to combat pseudoscientific, racist ideology. We also include resources about academic spaces that implement decolonial and inclusive practices. 

  4. Genetics and Human Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: This section highlights materials on the relationship between genetic variation and gender, sexuality, and sexual diversity. Resources include discussions about the emergence, proliferation, and implications of essentialist/reductionist ideas regarding bodies and identities of sexual and gender minority (SGM) people. Resources also include materials that consider the limits of these ideas with respect to the genetic variation underlying SGM identities.

  5. History of Genetics and Eugenics: These resources critically examine the problematic history of the field of genetics and its relationship with the eugenics movement. Acknowledging and learning about the history of genetics makes the discipline more inclusive and can help to avoid repeating mistakes from the past.

  6. Genetics, IQ, and Cognitive Ability: This section is dedicated to texts that critically discuss the existing literature on the relationship between genetic variation and cognitive ability/educational attainment/IQ. Because this is a highly cited and contentious topic, we focus on resources that explain the limitations of such studies rather than the original papers.

  7. Privacy concerns: This section includes texts discussing privacy concerns with the public sharing of genetic and phenotypic variation data. Privacy concerns extend across a variety of contexts with implications for law enforcement, genetic genealogists, health insurers, re-identification of anonymized data, and those that intend to interpret genetic testing results associated with health outcomes.

  8. Interpreting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), polygenic risk scores (PRS/PGS), and other human genomic studies: This section includes resources on definitions, characteristics, and limitations of GWAS and associated results, including PRS. We also include examples of materials that critically assess existing literature on the misuse of PRS. This section intersects with the sections “Genetics and Human Sexuality” and “Genetics, IQ, and Cognitive Ability,” in this resource list.

  9. Other topics: This section includes additional resources relevant to the discussion of genetic variation, ancestry, and race, but do not originate from the anthropological genetics, genomics, and medical genetics literature. These resources borrow from a variety of disciplines consequently providing more holistic perspectives on the impact of genetics on understanding the human condition and practicing science in general.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software