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Troy Duster: A Biography in History

A recent Scientific American profile of Troy Duster told of a 1997 meeting at the National Human Genome Research Institute. The eminent geneticists agreed on a mantra: “Race doesn’t exist.” They insisted that because the DNA of people with different skin colors and hair textures is 99.9 percent alike, the notion of race had no meaning in science:

    Then sociologist Troy Duster pulled a forensics paper out of his briefcase. It claimed that criminologists could find out whether a suspect was Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean or Asian Indian merely by analyzing three sections of DNA. “It was chilling,” recalls Francis S. Collins, director of the Institute. He had not been aware of DNA sequences that could identify race, and it shocked him that the information can be used to investigate crimes. “It stopped the conversation in its tracks” (Lehrman, 2003).






also in this issue
Public Sociologists Broke Records in San Francisco

Nearly 5,600 registrants shared in the richness of sociology at the 99th Annual Meeting

The 2004 American Sociological Association 99th Annual Meeting in the city by the bay was an overwhelming success. “Thank you” to the more than 5,560 registrants for making this year’s meeting in San Francisco the most well attended meeting in ASA’s history!


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ASA Centennial Will Honor Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues

In keeping with Past-President Michael Burawoy’s 2004 focus on the importance of directing sociological research outward from the “academy” toward its application to societal problems and issues (i.e., public sociology) is the creation of ASA’s newest award, the Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues. The first award will be presented during the 2005 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Burawoy proposed this award, which was approved by the ASA Council.

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