“Genes and justice” — exploring the crossroads of genetics and policy


“Genes and Justice.” That unexpected combination of words led to the “question of the day” that lit up on a screen in front of 26 Princeton undergraduates: “What changes in policy and society, if any, are needed to ensure that genetic evidence produces true justice?”

Seated together at one end of a classroom in Robertson Hall on a recent fall evening were the initiators of the question: Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University, and Keith Wailoo, the Townsend Martin Professor of history and public affairs. Together, they possess a wealth of knowledge to explore the topic. Tilghman, a professor of molecular biology, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on genetics; Wailoo draws upon insights gained from his work on several award-winning books on genetics and society, and many years teaching across the disciplines of health, race and public policy.

But it is the students who are being challenged to answer the day’s question in the course “Modern Genetics and Public Policy,” which Tilghman and Wailoo are co-teaching for the first time this semester. The course is offered through theWoodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

View the original article here: Exploring the crossroads of genetics and policy