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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. 


Tweet thread by Jed Carlson from 05/18/2022 on the use of genetics papers by white supremacists.

Resources cited within this twitter thread:


Tweet thread byKevin Birdfrom 05/16/2022 on the importance of understanding the eugenic and racist origins of genetics and evolution research for refuting the misappropriation of genetic research 

Resources cited within this twitter thread:


Robbee Wedow, Daphne O. Martschenko, Sam Trejo, “Scientists Must Consider the Risk of Racist Misappropriation of Research” (Editorial review only)


International Genetic Epidemiology Society, “Short guideline on the use and reporting of race/ethnicity/ancestry in IGES abstracts and papers to promote inclusion diversity and equity” 


David R. Williams, TED talk: How racism makes us sick


Barbara Koenig, "Race in a Genomic Age"


Emily Kwong and Rebecca Ramirez, Scientific Sankofa And The Complexities Of Genetic Ancestry Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong speaks with Janina Jeff, the host and executive producer of In Those Genes, a "science and culture podcast that uses genetics to decode the lost histories of African descendants." They discuss what a person's genetic ancestry test does and does not reveal, and the complicated intersection of genetics, history, and race


Dr. Daphne Martschenko (@daphmarts) and Dr. Brian Donovan, “A curated reading list on Race, Genetics, and Genetics Education.” 


Anna Lewis et. al., “Getting genetic ancestry right for science and society” SCIENCEVOL. 376, NO. 6590 


Leslea Hlusko,  University of California Berkeley course videos Exploring Human Biological Variation 


Andy Murray, Science Justice Research Center (UCSC) website has a great resource list for discussing the controversy elicited by David Reich’s NYTimes piece in 2018 regarding race and genomics. Excellent teaching resource that follows the debate over Reich’s statements chronologically in the popular press, with larger-scale theoretical/conceptual resources for follow-up.


Tina Lasisi, PBS show Why Am I Like This? features some great popular science outreach (targeted to teen-through-adult audiences) around race and genomics, among other topics.


Angela Saini Superior is an accessible overview of race science both broadly and in the United States, in particular. Its strength is in clearly demonstrating the historical (and present), often hidden connections between academia, specialist journals and think tanks/funding societies, and politicians in promoting and maintaining racist pseudoscience from the eugenics era to the present. 

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