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Genetic Ancestry Testing:

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  • 1. School of Humanities and Social Sciences Public lecture by Toh Puan Mahani Idris Daim Chair Professor Troy Duster on Genetic Ancestry Testing: Scientific Precision or Fool’s Gold in the Molecularisation of Identity, Health Care Delivery, and Crime Fighting Date : 11 February 2008 Time : 11.00 am to 12.30 pm Venue : NTU Lecture Theatre 19A About the speaker Troy Duster is Silver Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge at New York University – and he also holds an appointment as Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1996-98, he served as member and then chair of the joint NIH/DOE advisory committee on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (The ELSI Working Group). He is the past-president of the American Sociological Association (2004-2005), a member of the Board of Advisors of the Social Science Research Council, and in 2003-2004 served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Synopsis In the last six years, more than 460,000 people have submitted their DNA for genetic ancestry testing to help them determine the geographical origins of their ancestors. Public interest in this technology is escalating monthly, and at least two dozen companies now offer genetic testing for ancestry alone. Within the last few months, two new companies have emerged to offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing for information about prospective health issues, at a cost of approximately $1,000 per test. James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA with Francis Crick, also recently made inflammatory remarks about Africans and intelligence. The irony was not lost when analysis of Watson’s DNA revealed that he possessed 16 times the amount of “African DNA” than would be expected from someone with what would appear to be his European ancestry. All of these developments lead to serious questions about what we can know about ourselves from current technologies of DNA analysis of ancestry. How much in the way of social harms and benefits can we expect from this “molecularisation” of identity – that cascades into issues of social justice and crime fighting? Registration Please visit www.ntu.edu.sg/hss to register. For more queries, please contact Ms Joey Kek at kqkek@ntu. edu.sg or call 6514 8364. www.ntu.edu.sg/hss
  • 2. School of Humanities and Social Sciences Genetic Ancestry Testing: Scientific Precision or Fool’s Gold in the Molecularization of Identity, Health Care Delivery, and Crime Fighting Date: Monday, 11th Feb 2008 Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 am Venue: LT19A, NTU Speaker: Toh Puan Mahani Idris Daim Chair Professor Troy Duster Programme 11.00 am Welcome and Introduction by Assoc Prof Kwok Kian Woon Associate Chair (Academics) School of Humanities and Social Sciences 11.05 am Lecture by Professor Troy Duster Silver Professor of Sociology New York University Chancellor's Professor University of California, Berkeley 11.50 am Question and Answer 12.30 pm Refreshment Please click to register www.ntu.edu.sg/hss

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