About the series
This program is third in a series of four webinars that brings together educators and researchers for conversations about the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genetics. The series is organized by the Personal Genetics Education Project in partnership with the Center for ELSI Resources & Analysis. To learn more, click here.
What Genetic Ancestry Tests Mean (and What They Don’t)
Date: Tuesday April 11, 6:00-7:30pm ET
Recording and resources from this program are available here: https://elsihub.org/video/exploring-difference-biology-classroom-what-genetic-ancestry-tests-mean-and-what-they-dont
Genetic ancestry testing is often framed as a means to understanding who we are and where we came from. But what, exactly, do the results of these tests mean? Why are genetic data from ancestry tests of interest to individuals, scientists, and companies? What important questions arise about the uses of these data? Facilitating classroom conversations about genetic ancestry testing can be a powerful way to both connect scientific advances in the real world with lessons about human genetic variation and support students in becoming informed consumers.
In this session, two experts in genetics and anthropology will share their perspectives on genetic ancestry testing and address questions that students commonly have. Attendees will gain insight on the process of science, and learn how test results can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) as a source of information about racial and ethnic identities, familial relationships, and population history.
Janina Jeff, PhD, MS, is a population geneticist and senior scientist at Illumina, and host and executive producer of In Those Genes, a podcast show that links genetics, African American identity, and Black culture.
Dr. Jada Benn Torres, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Genetic Anthropology and Biocultural Studies Laboratory at Vanderbilt University.