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Genomics Literacy Matters: Teaching Genomics to Prevent Racial Prejudice

Friday, February 21, 2020, 3:00pm to 3:45pm
Biology Building East , 101 Kollros Auditorium
210 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52240

Historically, arguments based on genetics have been used to support ideological claims about the naturalness of racial inequality. Dr. Donovan will present data from randomized control trials (RCTs) that highlight how conventional genetics courses can result in students unintentionally adopting genetic explanations for racial inequality. He will argue that teaching human genetics out of context, that is, independent of an accurate understanding of the genetic variations within human populations, can lead to harmful and inhumane effects. He will present evidence that harmful effects can be addressed through curricular designs that focus on the social and quantitative complexities of human genetic variation, which can help students develop a better understanding of human difference that may in turn reduce the risk that students develop naïve and harmful beliefs about the genetic basis of racial inequality.



Dr. Brian M. Donovan is a researcher with BSCS Science Learning. He holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from Stanford University. His research explores how genetics education interacts with social-cognitive biases to influence how students make sense of complex biological and social phenomena.



Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Baker Teacher Leader Center, 319-335-5623, in advance. 


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Deirdre Egan in advance at 3194308930 or deirdre-egan@uiowa.edu.