Who are we?: The human genome project, race and ethnicity



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Who are We?: The Human Genome Project, Race and Ethnicity

WHO ARE WE?: THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT, RACE AND ETHNICITY

Paul Callister1

Associate Professor

Institute of Policy Studies

Victoria University of Wellington
Robert Didham

Institute of Policy Studies

Victoria University of Wellington
Abstract

Race and ethnicity continue to be evolving concepts. They are influenced by genetic research but are also shaped by discussion and debate that takes place far from laboratories. Their meanings also evolve somewhat differently in local contexts. One of the newer influences on these concepts are the findings from the ongoing Human Genome Project. This project, as well as other genetic research, is already playing a part in the ongoing evolution of ideas of who we are, both individually and collectively. However, a range of factors, including the significant intermixing of people across various boundaries, suggest that personal definitions of identity are likely to become more important than “scientific” definitions imposed by external authorities.





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