Åpent debattmøte: Hva er rase?
4. September 2015 kl. 19.00 Norsk Teknisk Museum
The debate will be introduced by professor of biological anthropology Jonathan Marks with a lecture on "Tales of the ex-Apes: How We Think About Race".
The technological revolution in DNA research during the last couple of decades has led to a boom in research on human population genetics. Forensic science uses DNA as a marker for ethnic identification, medical research explores the relationship between ethnicity, 'race', genetics, and disposition towards certain health risks, while DNA from ancient bones is used to investigate the relationships between past and present populations and reconstruct prehistoric population movements. Such research has received much public attention and has led to several historians and philosophers of science, social scientists, biological anthropologists, and geneticists raising the question whether we are witnessing the emergence of new (or revival of old) biological ideas about race, origins, and ethnicity. With this debate, we want to put the question What is race? on the agenda.
Professor Jonathan Marks is a key participant in the international discussions on these issues and has written extensively on relevant topics. Some of his most recent writings include: Tales of the ex-Apes: How We Think about Human Evolution (to be released in September 2015), Why I Am Not a Scientist (2009), and What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee (2002).
The study of human origins and diversity is reflexive and bio-political, and quite different from other sciences. Because this science strives to answer primal questions – “Who are we?” and “Where did we come from?” – it incorporates a narrative or storytelling aspect, itself a unique product of human evolution, to a much greater extent than other sciences do. The two major breakthroughs of this science, biological anthropology, have been (1) that humans are descended from apes, in the mid-19th century; and (2) that patterns of human variation are quite different from racial categories, in the mid-20th century.
The debate is arranged in connection with the research workshop Ancestry, ethnicity, race, and DNA 1990-2015, and an international group of geneticists, biological and social anthropologists, and historians and philosophers of science will attend the debate and contribute to the discussion.
The lecture and discussion will be held in english.