Café Scientifique Topic 27: Scientific Construction of Race
Thursday, January 10, 2013
From 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
How much do you really know about the geographic, racial and ethnic origins of your personal ancestors? How old were you when you first learned about race? Come join us in a fascinating conversation about the evolution of race and what scientists say about race with Mike Lange, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Champlain College and John Burke, Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UVM. View the exhibit Race: Are We So Different? during social time.
Bios about our speakers:
Dr. Michael Lange is an associate professor in the Core Division at Champlain College. A cultural anthropologist and folklorist, Dr. Lange has conducted ethnographic field work in Norway, Scotland, Morocco, and Vermont. His publications include articles in anthropology and folklore journals, as well as a book, Norwegian Scots."
John Burke is a UVM professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, whose research focuses on catalytic RNA and molecular biodiversity. He teaches genomics, genetics, and biochemistry to undergraduates, doctoral students and medical students. He recently completed a sabbatical at one of the world's foremost genome centers, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Hinxton, Cambridgeshire UK). He lives in Burlington, and tries to find time for walking, photography and playing the piano.
Questions for Discussion:
1. How much do you really know about the geographic, racial and ethnic origins of your personal ancestors?
2. How did you obtain this information, and how confident are you that it is correct?
3. As we continue to explore the human genome, how important are efforts to learn about (a) the evolutionary history of humans, (b) human biological diversity in general, and (c) human racial diversity in particular?
4. How old were you when you first learned about race? How did you learn?
5. How do currently you experience race in your everyday life?
6. How do you gain information about other races today?