Professor Jonathan Kahn Receives National Library of Medicine Grant


10.12.21 — Professor Jonathan Kahn, a leading authority on biotechnology’s implications for our ideas of identity, rights and citizenship, has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Library of Medicine for his book project, “The Uses of Diversity: Managing Race and Representation in Law, Politics, and the Biosciences.” The book will examine the biomedical, social, legal, commercial and policy implications of “diversity’s” emergence as a central organizing concept animating an array of programs and research agendas aimed at driving forward genomic innovation.

“As a consequence of its historical uptake and deployment in related and overlapping political and biomedical contexts, ‘diversity’ has become a powerful site for the conflation, confusion and confounding of social and biological understandings of race,” said Kahn, who previously received two grants from the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program. “This book project will trace these entanglements over time, explore their substance and dynamics, the productive work they do — or fail to do — and consider ways in which these relations may be more constructively managed to serve the goals of both realizing the promise of genomic research and promoting racial justice.”

Kahn’s previous books include Race on the Brain: What Implicit Bias Gets Wrong About the Struggle for Racial Justice (Columbia University Press, 2018); Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age (Columbia University Press, 2013); and Budgeting Democracy: State Building and Citizenship in America, 1890-1928 (Cornell University Press, 1997).

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