2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Seminar Series: Jason Boardman
"Statistical inconveniences and the re-reification of racial group membership"
Recent advances in statistical and population genetics have provided a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the human genome. Results from genome wide association studies (GWAS) have been used to develop polygenic scores (PGS) for a wide range of social, economic, and health related outcomes. For many of these outcomes, the association between the PGS and its corresponding trait is weaker in magnitude among African-American compared to European-American subjects. This has led to recent calls to limit the use of PGSs to the ‘discovery population.’ This presentation will discuss the implications of this and other recommendations regarding the use of racial identities as related to statistical genetics. Specifically, we will discuss the extent to which statistical modeling decisions are incorrectly re-framing our understanding of human difference and these small and otherwise meaningless differences align with the concept of “race.”