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Art Woods, Marty Martin
Kathryn Paige Harden
Does our DNA matter for our life outcomes? Can and should we use it for better social policy? And why have these questions caused such a stir?
On this episode of Big Biology, we talk with Kathryn Paige Harden, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin where she leads the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab. Paige is the author of a new book, The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality. In the book, Paige advocates for using genetic information to better understand variation in our life outcomes such as how many years of school we complete and other complex social, economic and educational conditions. She thinks that genetics can be a tool to help create a more equitable society, but her ideas have both ardent supporters and vociferous critics. We delve into why her book has been so controversial, how human genetic data might be used constructively and ethically, and whether the incorporation of more explicit evolutionary thinking about what genes actually do might prevent future misunderstanding and maybe even the misuse of genetic data.
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
Length of Episode
1 hour, 5 minutes, 1 second
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 079: How the genetic lottery affects complex human traits" (2022). BigBiology Podcasts. 80.