News and Events

Event Archives 2018-2019

Friday, May 3, 2019
STS 2019 Keynote Lecture
A Racial Classification for Medical Genetics
Quayshawn Spencer (University of Pennsylvania)
Tisch 304 | 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Sponsors: STS, Diversity Fund, and Department of Biology
Abstract: In the early 2000s, Esteban Burchard and his colleagues defended a controversial route to the view that there's a racial classification of people that's epistemically useful in medicine. The route, which I call 'Burchard's route,' is arguing that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine because, roughly, there’s a racial classification with medically relevant genetic differentiation (Risch et al. 2002; Burchard et al. 2003). While almost all scholars engaged in this debate agree that there's a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine in some way, there’s tremendous controversy over whether any racial scheme is useful in medicine because there are medically relevant genetic differences among those races (Roberts 2011; Yudell et al. 2016). The goal of this paper will be to show that Burchard's route is basically correct. However, I will use a slightly different argument than Burchard et al.'s in order to provide a firmer foundation for the thesis, both metaphysically and genetically.

Quayshawn Spencer is the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds both a PhD in philosophy and an MS in biology from Stanford University. Spencer specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of race. In all three of his specializations, Spencer focuses on metaphysical problems, such as how to appropriately define 'natural kind,' whether biological populations can have fuzzy temporal parts, and whether any folk racial classification divides humans into real biological groups. Spencer has published several journal articles on the topic of race & biology, but he’s best known for "What 'biological racial realism' should mean" in Philosophical Studies (2012), and "A Radical Solution to the Race Problem" in Philosophy of Science (2014). Spencer also has two forthcoming books with Oxford University Press, What is Race? Four Philosophical Views (with Glasgow, Haslanger, and Jeffers) and The Race Debates from Metaphysics to Medicine.
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Fridays, January 25-April 26, 2019
STS Lunch Seminar Series

Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room | 12:00-1:15 pm
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Thursday, April 11, 2019
[Workshop] Sourcing the News: Tracking Digital Citational Practices Through MediaCAT

Alejandro Paz (University of Toronto)
Terrace Room | 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
Sponsors: Diversity Fund; Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, Latino Studies, Colonialism Studies, Anthropology, STS, Middle Eastern Studies, and the Latino Center
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Friday, March 1, 2019
STS Program Open House

Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room | 12:00-2:15 pm
Join us for STS Lunch Seminar with Gili Vidan presenting "Cryptography and the Politics of Decentralization" at noon followed by Open House. Meet STS faculty, welcome new STS majors, and learn about courses being offered in fall 2019!
Lunch + Dessert will be served
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Fridays, September 14-December 7, 2018
STS Lunch Seminar Series

Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room | 12:00-1:15 pm
More information and speaker lineup >

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
STS Advising Open Office Hours
Paige Hall Conference Room (007) | 3:00-5:00 pm
Learn about spring 2019 STS course offerings, get advice from STS faculty, and hear more about STS at Tufts!

Friday, September 7, 2018
Learn about STS
Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room | 12:30-1:30 pm
Come eat pizza, meet STS faculty and staff, and learn about what it's like to study STS at Tufts!