From its very beginning, the project stressed the need for international cooperation with researchers engaged in public and academic debates on questions of race, ethnicity and genetic variation in order to develop comparative perspectives and explore the international and transnational contexts of our objects of study. The researchers who initially formed this group and offered their expertise are:
Veronika Lipphardt, is professor of science and technology studies at University College Freiburg. Her research focuses on the history of knowledge about human variation in the 20th century. Since March 2009, she has also been the director of the Independent Research Group “Twentieth Century Histories of Knowledge About Human Variation” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. The group examines how life scientists, demographers and anthropologists in European, colonial and postcolonial contexts have understood human biological diversity during the twentieth century.
Gísli Pálsson, who is professor of social anthropology at the University of Iceland. His research looks at the social implications of biotechnology, personal genomics, genetic history, environmental change, and Arctic exploration. Palsson has published extensively on Human Genomics and its interaction with the identities of individuals and groups. His study of research on the biological history of the Islanders, from interwar racial anthropology and into the age of genomics, is a parallel to the study, which we will conduct on the development of racial anthropology and human genetic variation research in Scandinavia.
Jenny Reardon is professor of sociology affiliated with the History of Consciousness Department, the Feminist Studies Department, and the Biomolecular Science & Engineering center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has written extensively on the international Human Genetic Diversity Project, and is currently investigating the societal and scientific paradoxes, dilemmas and problems created by the focus on human groups as objects of genetic analysis.
Ricardo Ventura Santos, who is an anthropologist and senior researcher at the National School of Public Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro and associate professor of Anthropology with the National Museum at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is involved in the project ”Race, genomics and mestizaje (mixture) in Latin America”, which is a comparative analysis of how ideas of race and ethnicity interact with genomic research in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. The project explores how knowledge about genetics reinforces or challenges Latin-American national identities based on racial-cultural mixture between Europeans, Africans and indigenous Americans.
All participants at the project's workshops, have contributed to the furthering of our research and discussions, and now form part of the network of researchers we are collaborating with:
Jenny Bangham is a research scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, working on the practices, institutions and representations of human genetics. Her research focuses on the practices, technologies and institutions through which medical and research communities produce knowledge about human life. She examines how in the mid-twentieth century the field of human genetics was shaped by blood group research and, by extension, bureaucratic technologies of public health, colonial and Cold War politics, and changing standards in the study of race.
Yulia Egorova is senior lecturer in anthropology at Durham University (UK). Her research interests include anthropology of Jewish communities, the social aspects of science and biotechnology, and the relationship between science and religion. She has conducted a cluster of studies exploring the socio-cultural implications of population genetics with particular reference to South Asia. Currently, she is working on Jewish-Muslim relations in the UK.
Joan Fujimura is professor in sociology and in the Holtz Center for Research on Science and Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the past five years,she has led an interdisciplinary project which examines where, when, and how group categories, including social race, are used in genomics. She has researched extensively how socio-political and institutional notions of race are being reproduced in new biomedical genomic and population research, and how genomic knowledge enters debates about policies on the use of race categories in governance and social research.
Alan Goodman professor of biological anthropology at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. His teaching, research and writing focus on better understanding the processes by which large scale political economic processes such as inequality and racism have biological consequences as indicated by measures of stress, health and nutrition. He has written greatly on how we think about “what is (human) biology” and how political-economic processes such as inequality and racism dialectically intersect with human bodies and biologicals.
Kriti Kapila is a social anthropologist and Lecturer in Anthropology and Law at King’s India Institute, King’s College London. She has recently completed a manuscript entitled Domestic Modern: The Work of Law in Contemporary India. Her current research focuses on intellectual property rights in biological and cultural goods in India.
Emma Kowal is professor of anthropology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. She is a cultural anthropologist who has previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health settings. Her research interests include Indigenous-state relations and settler colonialism, racism and anti-racism, science and genomics.
Jonathan Marks is professor in biological anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at UNC Charlotte (US). His primary area of research is molecular anthropology and especially the area of overlap between (scientific) genetic data and (humanistic) self-comprehension. His research interests range from the relationships between genetics and society to the relationships of humans to apes (both bio-historically and bio-ethically) and the relationships of human groups to one another.
Åsa M. Larsson is an archaeologist (PhD) and anthropologist (MA), whose research focuses on the Neolithic of Scandinavia. She has worked as a field archaeologist and osteologist, and as director of the foundation Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis, whose services include rescue archaeology, osteological analysis and research. She is presently employed at the Swedish National Heritage Board, developing a national database for digital information from archaeological excavations.
Amade M’charek is professor of anthropology of science at the department of Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests are in forensics, forensic anthropology and race. She is the PI of the project Dutchness in Genes and Genealogy, a project examining how Dutchness is enacted in collaborations between population geneticists, archaeologists and genealogists.
Catherine Nash is professor of human geography at Queen Mary University of London with research expertise in ideas of relatedness, race, ethnicity and national belonging. Her research has expanded critical work on the making of race by addressing the politics of genetic accounts of the past at different scales and in relation to national identity and gender. She was among the first scholars to address commercial development of genetic tests for ancestry and she continues to address the social significance of ideas of shared ancestry and origins.
Ramya Rajagopalan is research associate at the Life Sciences Foundation (US). Her work examines the social, historical and clinical impacts of biotechnology and contemporary life sciences. She focuses on: debates around the use of race in studies of human genetic variation research; clinical and regulatory practices governing the rise of personalized medicine in health care; and innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration in life sciences research and the dynamics of public-private institutional partnerships.
Katharina Schramm is assistant professor for Social Anthropology at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. In her current research project, she investigates the dynamics between the formation of scientific classifications (in relation to genetic concepts of “populations”), their historical situatedness and their political and legal impact on notions of national identity and citizenship.
Marianne Sommer is full professor for cultural studies at the University of Lucerne. Her research investigates how sciences such as evolutionary biology, (paleo)anthropology, primatology, and human genetics have contributed to cultures of remembrance since the turn of the 20th century. She addresses how these sciences provide orientation, meaning, and identity through the popularization and commercialization of origin narratives and historical images.
Edna Maria Suárez-Díaz is professor in the History of Biology and the Philosophy of Technology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She has written extensively on the history of molecular evolution, and her work integrates historical and epistemological considerations such as the role of scientific concepts in the double configuration of disciplines (the social/political and the epistemic order), and the role of networks in the internationalization of scientific practices.