The Floodgates Have Opened

It’s been a while since my last post- a busy summer is to blame. I’m back now, though!

When I first started my PhD, some folks thought I was engaging in topics that were too ‘science fiction.’ I was told not to touch the topic of genetics, education, class, and race – especially for a PhD dissertation. I’ve been told that I need to be careful in a field like this, that it could be career ending. A lot of this may well be true, but the idea that genetics + education = science fiction is not. Over the past few years the floodgates of genetic data have opened. The conversation on what this means for systems of education and for understandings of race and inequality, has also picked up.

Let’s take a look at some news articles over the past two years:

Screenshot 2018-04-04 09.56.51
Find full article here

Screenshot 2018-08-20 10.01.52

Not only that, the conversation is dabbling in other forms of media, including video-format from behavior genetics researchers themselves: maxresdefault

Books like, The Genome Factor have come out and others like Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are and The Genetic Lottery are slated to come out soon.

Op-ed pieces on “Why Progressives Should Embrace the Genetics of Education“; “How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’”; and “How Genetic Differences Could Make Schools Better” are juxtaposed with “Why We Shouldn’t Embrace the Genetics of Education” and “How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics.”

Gradually, what was once dismissed and decried is entering mainstream conversation. Take the following as an example:
Screenshot 2017-01-18 09.34.29
The articles Michael Story is referring to have the following full headlines since the above screenshot doesn’t capture them in full:

Screenshot 2018-08-20 10.24.49

Screenshot 2018-08-20 10.25.32

Granted, one piece is an opinion and the other is not. However, this is indicative of a trend towards opening up the conversation on genetics and social behaviors/outcomes.

The floodgates have opened. It’s time we have a systematic conversation about the implications, ramifications, threats, and/or possibilities this could bring.

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