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Hastings Center News

Progressives, Conservatives, and Social Genomics

Over the past decade, the new field of social genomics has investigated how genomic differences among people are linked to differences in their behaviors and social outcomes, including educational attainment and socioeconomic success. But the findings can be interpreted differently by progressives and conservatives, writes Hastings Center senior research scholar Erik Parens in an essay in Aeon. “Indeed, findings from social genomics are compatible with what we in the United States consider Left-leaning agendas to combat inequalities,” he writes, referring to progressives’ hope that social genomics could lead to more effective social programs. “They are, however, equally compatible with what we think of as Right-leaning agendas that accept – or make peace with – inequalities.”  Read the article.