On December 9, 2005, biological and social scientists met at Hunter College for an interdisciplinary discussion of a particularly dangerous area: the intersection of minorities, genomics, and health inequities. The presentations ranged freely across this contentious triple border, exploring everything from drug development technology to racial profiling. The conference, the 19th Annual International Symposium of the Center for the Study of Gene Structure and Function, featured nearly a dozen excellent talks.
Conference organizers took a wide view of the term "minorities," and the discussion spanned everything from the racially profiled drug BiDil to the genetics of homosexuality. Some common themes emerged from these diverse research projects, though, including an enduring division between biological and social scientists on the potential of genomics. While many biologists tend to view the progress of genomics as an unmitigated boon, social scientists remain wary of the new field's potential for misuse.
Professor of Biology
Director of the Gene Center
Hunter College, CUNY