Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-7678

June 17, 2011

Jennifer Hochschild to Discuss “The Political Implications of Human Genomics,” July 7

Could there come a day when everyone’s genetic code is listed on his or her birth certificate, or when a sample of everyone’s DNA is in an FBI database? Genomic science is growing rapidly, but political views and public policy have not caught up with its likely effect on our identities or on the criminal-justice system.

Jennifer Hochschild, who occupies the Chair in American Law and Governance in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, will discuss the issue in a lecture titled "The Political Implications of Human Genomics" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Kluge Center, the lecture is free and open to the public.

American policymakers and the public at large, according to Hochschild, have yet to address the following questions: What will be the relationship between genetics-based information and race? Will the collection of DNA samples improve the quality of judicial decisions or add yet another layer of surveillance to black and Latino populations?

Based on new national surveys and interviews she undertook at the Kluge Center, Hochschild will analyze the impact of individuals’ access to genetic information on their racial and ethnic identity and on their beliefs about its fairness and efficacy in law enforcement.

Hochschild is the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government and a professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University.

Hochschild is the co-author of "The American Dream and the Public Schools" (2003); the author of "Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class and the Soul of the Nation" (1995); "The New American Dilemma: Liberal Democracy and School Desegregation" (1984); and "What’s Fair: American Beliefs and Distributive Justice" (1981). She is also the co-author or co-editor of numerous other books and articles.

The founding editor of Perspectives on Politics, published by the American Political Science Association, Hochschild is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received fellowships and awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the Spencer Foundation, the Princeton University Research Board and other organizations.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

# # #

PR 11-118
06/17/11
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top