Paige Harden: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

Tue Oct 12 2021 at 07:30 pm UTC-07:00

Town Hall Seattle | Seattle

Town Hall Seattle
Publisher/HostTown Hall Seattle
Paige Harden: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality
All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup. All our differences are found in the remaining .1 percent. Our DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health. Those ways matter when it comes to our educational and economic success in our current society.

In The Genetic Lottery, clinical psychology professor Paige Harden aims to reclaim genetic science from the legacy of eugenics and dismantle dangerous ideas about racial superiority. She argues that we must acknowledge the role of genetic luck if we are ever to create a fair society. Genetically associated inequalities, Harden brings forth, can be viewed through a lens of “luck egalitarianism.” This philosophical perspective on fair versus unfair inequality is already manifest in current research and policy. She proposes that genetic research can be used to advance equity goals. Regardless of the .1 percent, we can all be equal.

Paige Harden, Ph.D. is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is the director of the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab and co-directs the Texas Twin Project.

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