Race Consciousness in Biomedicine, Law, and Social Policy
Dates of Project: 2008 to 2013
Field of Work: Examining race consciousness in biomedicine, law, and social policy.
“In order to conclude that the cause of health disparities is genetic, scientists must first rule out more logical social explanations”—factors such as intense poverty and the unavailability of healthy foods in many black neighborhoods.”—Dorothy Roberts
Issue: In light of recent advances in genomic studies and technologies, it is important to clarify how race-based biomedicine reflects and shapes current political contests over color-blind and race-conscious approaches to racial equality.
Synopsis of the Work: Roberts used empirical and conceptual methods, as well as legal analysis, to examine how race-based biomedicine both reflects and shapes current political contests over color-blind and race-conscious approaches to racial equality.
Evidence from several studies show that racism itself—“lifelong accumulated experiences of racial discrimination”—is an independent risk factor for such negative health consequences as hypertension and very low birthweight.
- Scientists increasingly are resuscitating a false biological concept of race by treating the social grouping as a biological variable in cutting-edge genomic studies and technologies.
- The emerging racial science promotes a new biopolitics that makes race seem significant at the molecular level [even] as it appears less significant in a supposedly “post racial” society, obscuring persistent social inequities.
- Race is not a biological category that causes health disparities because of genetic differences; race is a sociopolitical category that has staggering biological consequences because of the impact of social inequality on health.
- Can Collecting Data on Patients' Race, Ethnicity and Language Help Reduce Disparities in Care? July 1, 2011
- Health Insurance Plans Collecting More Data on Race, Ethnicity, and Language March 13, 2012
- How Does Race Affect Health Outcomes? New Analysis With Different Statistical Methods Comes Up with New Answers August 12, 2010
- Public Opinion Survey Finds Racial and Ethnic Differences Regarding Genetic Testing October 26, 2005
- Researchers Generate Reports and Online Info on Ethical and Legal Issues of Genetics July 15, 2005
- About this grant
Roberts' theme in Fatal Invention: Science, politics, big business are resuscitating false concept of race.