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NYU Abu Dhabi Institute hosts leading intellectuals at Identity and Genetics Conference

Abu Dhabi – February 9, 2019: NYU Abu Dhabi Institute in collaboration with the Division of Social Science and the Division of Science will bring together leading intellectuals to discuss Identity and Genetics.

The keynote panel, “What Can Genetics Tell Us About Identity?” will be held Tuesday February 19 at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Conference Center at 6.30pm. The event, open to the public, aims to encourage dialogue about the emerging field at the intersection of identity and genetics as well as its ethical implications, and to showcase new research initiatives from NYU Abu Dhabi’s Social Science division.

The panel will feature high profile speakers including NYU Professor of Philosophy and Law and author of “The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity” and writer of the “Ethicist” column for the New York Times Magazine Anthony Appiah. Appiah is a widely published author in literary and cultural studies, with a focus on African and African-American culture. He is best known for his contributions to political philosophy, moral psychology and the philosophy of culture. Also participating will be University of North Carolina Professor of Biological Anthropology and author of “Is Science Racist?” Jonathan Marks. Marks specializes in biological anthropology and genetics, but his interests are broad, and he has published widely across the sciences and humanities spectrum on the general topics of human origins and human diversity. 

The final panel member will be NYU Associate Professor of Sociology and author of "The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference Ann Morning, who will also be moderating the event. Morning has published a number of articles related to her research areas, including the most recent, a chapter in “The Constructivist Concept of Race.” Morning has a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale.           

The panelists will address the question: What can the mapping of the human genome tell us about who we are? The twentieth century ended with the consensus in the social sciences and humanities that our group identities are constructed through social interaction rather than biologically determined. Does the mapping of the human genome in the twenty-first century challenge that consensus?

Appiah, Marks and Morning are all leaders in their respective research areas, promising a stimulating discussion. Seats are limited for this event; those wishing to attend should reserve their seat by emailing For more information, please click here.

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