Visit by Professor Joan Fujimura

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Organizing Uncertainty Series lecture with Joan Fujimura 'An Unintended Consequence of Big Biology: How genomics is being used to reproduce U.S. race categories'

 
04/05/2014

Visit by Professor Joan Fujimura

Organizing Uncertainty Series lecture with Joan Fujimura 'An Unintended Consequence of Big Biology: How genomics is being used to reproduce U.S. race categories'

On Friday March 28, 2014 the Platform and the CBS Department of Organization was pleased to present Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Joan Fujimura for a public lecture at CBS. The lecture examined human post-genomic research and its emerging definitions of individual and population similarities and differences.

In her work Fujimura analyses new genomic information and consider its production in the context of competing discourses on race and ethnicity and, more generally, populations in contemporary U.S. society. She analyzes several large-scale genomics infrastructural projects, their relationships to each other, and their roles (or not) in re-introducing notions of race into genetics. The lecture examined whether and how notions of population and race are constructed through or used in these genomic technologies. To do so, Fujimura presented an archaeology of the tools used in current statistical searches for disease related genetic markers. Medical geneticists, population geneticists, and mathematicians/statisticians together constructed these tools using population genetic concepts, and the outputs of these tools reaffirm population genetic concepts. Genetic differences (and similarities) are understood through the technologies examined. These technologies hold up the world of genetic markers that might be involved in common complex diseases. But they also hold up a world of debates about the role of genomics in race. 
 

Joan Fujimura

Joan H. Fujimura is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went to Madison to build the Science and Technology Studies Program and the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Research on Science and Technology.  She has been the Henry R. Luce Professor for Biotechnology and Society, and Associate Professor of Anthropology, at Stanford University, and Assistant Professor in Sociology at Harvard University.  Fujimura has won fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation, NYC; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ; the Abe Foundation, Tokyo, Japan; the Fullbright Association; the University of California Humanities Center. During her career, Fujimura has studied developments in molecular genetics, the history of bioinformatics, the development of genomics, and now new developments in epigenetics and systems biology. She has been interested in the points where epistemologies of science intersect with social, political, and ethical issues.

 

The page was last edited by: Public-Private Platform // 12/17/2017