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The Genome Factor - Jason Fletcher - <span class="date-display-single">11/05/2017 - 10:00am</span>

The Genome Factor

11/05/2017 - 10:00am

Discovery Building - DeLuca Forum

For a century, social scientists have avoided genetics like the plague. But the nature-nurture wars are over. In the past decade, a small but intrepid group of economists, political scientists, and sociologists have harnessed the genomics revolution to paint a more complete picture of human social life than ever before. The Genome Factor describes the latest astonishing discoveries being made at the scientific frontier where genomics and the social sciences intersect.


The Genome Factor reveals that there are real genetic differences by racial ancestry—but ones that don't conform to what we call black, white, or Latino. Genes explain a significant share of who gets ahead in society and who does not, but instead of giving rise to a genotocracy, genes often act as engines of mobility that counter social disadvantage. An increasing number of us are marrying partners with similar education levels as ourselves, but genetically speaking, humans are mixing it up more than ever before with respect to mating and reproduction. These are just a few of the many findings presented in this illuminating and entertaining book, which also tackles controversial topics such as genetically personalized education and the future of reproduction in a world where more and more of us are taking advantage of cheap genotyping services like 23andMe to find out what our genes may hold in store for ourselves and our children.


The Genome Factor shows how genomics is transforming the social sciences—and how social scientists are integrating both nature and nurture into a unified, comprehensive understanding of human behavior at both the individual and society-wide levels.

Jason Fletcher

About Presenter Jason Fletcher


Jason Fletcher is a Romnes Professor of Public Affairs with appointments in Sociology, Agricultural and Applied Economics and Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Prior to coming to UW in 2013, he held appointments at Yale University and Columbia University. Fletcher has published over 100 academic articles and has received over $3 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, William T. Grant Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, among others.  He co-organizes the Integrating Genetics and Social Science Conference, now in its 8th year.  A health economist by training, he has worked to integrate genetics and social science over the past decade, culminating in his book with Dalton Conley: The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Tells Us About Ourselves, Our History and Our Future has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Freakonomics, among others. His new course this fall at UW is "Molecular Me: Social Implications of the Genomics Revolution”.


The Genome Factor

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