Category Archives: WhysToLookForGenes

Depictions of human genetic relationships

Science writer, Nicholas Wade, and philosopher Nevan Sesardic, among others have argued that Rosenberg et al’s division of human genetic diversity into reasonably distinct clusters (depicted as bands of color in their diagrams) shows that human racial divisions have a biological basis after all.  Some lines of critical inquiry that I would recommend: Continue reading


What to do if we think that researchers have overlooked a significant issue for 100 years?

Practice run of a talk to philosophers of biology & biologists, March 2016 Continue reading

4/23, 50 Whys to Look for Genes: Pros and Complications (participation is possible by from a distance)

Cambridge Science Festival 2015
50 Whys to Look for Genes: Pros and Complications
7-8.30pm, Thursday April 23, Bldg 1-134 at MIT
Participation is possible by google hangout, at . RSVP at will help us plan for this. Continue reading

Whys to look for genes, a map


(more details)

Whys to look for genes: Pros and complications–A Collaborative Exploration during February

A Collaborative Exploration (CE) in which participants consider what it would mean for the public to be treated as capable of thinking about the complexities that surround the application of genetic knowledge. Continue reading

50 whys to look for genes: 50. Genomics is “promising” in a “high-speed, high-tech, and high-finance world”

As described by Mike Fortun in his 2008 book, Promising Genomics: Iceland and deCODE Genetics in a World of Speculation (Univ. of California Press), a biotech company was given rights to knowledge and its application derived by connecting health data with genomic data for all of Iceland’s citizens. As described in a review of the book, Fortun: Continue reading

50 whys to look for genes: 49. Biotech/Pharma funds it

The 1970s saw researchers in molecular genetics first argue that science progresses when free from outside direction–in the form of government restrictions on genetic engineering–and later argue that science progresses when scientists are free to receive funding (and often direction) from private corporations–including corporations started by academic researchers. In 1980 the Bayl-Dole act in the USA allowed private corporations to profit from commercializing products of research that had been funded by the government. Continue reading