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Genomics indicted. Decoding Racial Ideology in Genomics

Julien Delhez

Abstract

Johnny E. Williams supports the idea that “race” is a purely socio-historical creation. Consequently, in his mind, only a pervasive racial ideology can explain why researchers working in the field of genomics sometimes use racial categories within the frame of their research, notwithstanding the fact that many of them do so with the purpose of making tailor-made medicine possible. The book suffers from numerous flaws, not all of which can be discussed here. The author does not master elementary concepts such as “gene” and “allele,” whose understanding is indispensable for anyone who attempts to write on genetics. He also misrepresents more than one scientific article that he refers to. Furthermore, by focusing exclusively on what he sees as the researchers’ ideology, Williams disregards questions which would have been worth exploring, such as the difficulties faced by researchers when those who fund them are under the influence of racial ideologies. For all these reasons, I hope that a more instructive book will be written on this important topic.

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