Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Fatal Invention documents the emergence of a new biopolitics in the United States that relies on re-inventing race in biological terms using cutting-edge genomic science and biotechnologies. Some scientists are defining race as a biological category written in our genes, while the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries convert the new racial science into race-based products, such as race-specific medicines, ancestry tests, and DNA forensics, that incorporate false assumptions of racial difference at the genetic level. The genetic understanding of race calls for technological responses to racial disparities while masking the continuing impact of racism in a supposedly post-racial society. Instead, I call for affirming our common humanity by working to end social inequities supported by the political system of race.


health, race, ethnicity, bioethics, policy, medicine, science, drugs, research, discrimination, pharmacogenomics

Publication Title

Fatal invention: how science, politics, and big business re-create race in the twenty-first century