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Troy Duster

Troy Duster

Professor, Sociology, New York University
Chancellor's Professor, Sociology
University of California, Berkeley
Expertise: Science Policy and Race

Troy Duster is Professor of Sociology at New York University, and he also holds the title of Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the former Director of the American Cultures Center, and founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change, both at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar at Stockholm University, the University of British Columbia, the London School of Economics, Williams College, the University of Melbourne, and Columbia University. His books and monographs include The Legislation of Morality (1970), Aims and Control of the Universities (1974), Cultural Perspectives on Biological Knowledge (co-edited with Karen Garret, 1984), Backdoor to Eugenics (2003, 2nd Edition), and (co-author of) Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society (2003). He is also the author of numerous articles on theory and methods published in the American Sociologist, Temps Moderne, and Politics and the Life Sciences.

Dr. Duster has been a member of the Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences; the Committee on Social and Ethical Impacts of Advances in Biomedicine, Institute of Medicine; the Special Commission of the Association of American Law Schools; the Commission on Meeting the Challenges of Diversity in an Academic Democracy; and the Science Advisory Panel, National Institutes of Health, Research, on Violence. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council (2004), and President-elect of the American Sociological Association (2004).

He is the recipient of a number of research fellowships including awards from the Swedish Government, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Senior Research Award from the Ford Foundation. He has been a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research (1996-1999), the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (1997-2003) of which he served as Chair (2002-2003), and was also a member and then Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (The ELSI Working Group). Along with Jerome Karabel, Dr. Duster co-directed a multi-year grant from the Ford Foundation on the effects of the end of affirmative action on the University of California.

For selected publications:

"The Hidden Eugenic Potential of Germ-Line Interventions," in Audrey R. Chapman and Mark S. Frankel, Designing our Descendants: The Promises and Perils of Genetic Modifications, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, 156-178.

"The International HapMap Project," in Richard A. Gibbs, et al., Nature, 426, 18-25 December 2003, 789-796.

"Social Side Effects of the New Human Molecular Genetic Diagnostics," in Michael Yudell and Robert DeSalle, eds., The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life, Washington, DC: John Henry Press, 2002.

"Caught Between Race and a Hard Place," Ethnicities, 2 (4), 2002, 547-553 "The Sociology of Science and the Revolution in Molecular Biology," in J. R. Blau, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Sociology, London and New York: Blackwell, 2001.

"Race Identity," in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, N. J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (eds.), Pergamon, Oxford. 2001: 12703-06.

"The Morphing Properties of Whiteness," in B. Rasmussen, E. Klinenberg, I. Nexica and M. Wray, eds., The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

"The Epistemological Challenge of the Early Attack on 'Rate Construction'" Social Problems, 48, 1, 134-137, February, 2001.

"Buried Alive: The Concept of Race in Science," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Section B, 11-12, September 14, 2001.

"A Brief Sociohistorical Odyssey of the American University Through a Lens of Cultural Diversity," in Edgar F. Beckham, Diversity, Democracy, and Higher Education: A View From Three Nations, Washington, D.C.: Assoc. of American Colleges and Universities, 2000.

"The Social Consequences of Genetic Disclosure," in Ronald Carson and Mark Rothstein, (eds.), Culture and Biology, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

"Persistence and continuity in Human Genetics and social Stratifications," in Ted Peters, ed., Genetics: Issues of Social Justice, Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1998, 218-238.

"Genetic Information and the Workplace: Legislative Approaches and Policy Challenges," with K. Rothenberg, et al. Science, 275, 1755-1757, 21 March 1997.

"The Stratification of Cultures as the Barrier to Democratic Pluralism," in Robert Orrill, ed., Education and Democracy: Re-imagining Liberal Learning in America, New York: The College Board, 1997, 263-286.

"'Pattern, Purpose and Race in the Drug War: The Crisis of Credibility in Criminal Justice," in Craig Reinarman and Harry G. Levine, Crack in America: Demon Drugs and social Justice, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997, 260-287.

"The Prism of Heritability and the Sociology of Knowledge," in Laura Nader, ed., Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry into Boundaries, Power, and Knowledge, New York: Routledge, 1996, 119-130.

LongviewInstitute.Org resources by Troy Duster:

Deep Roots and Tangled Branches
Whitewashing Race
Scrutinizes the logic and evidence behind the widely held belief in a color-blind society, and provides an alternative explanation for continued racial inequality in the United States.
Backdoor to Eugenics
Downloadable Files
Troy Duster and Alice Waters: The Vertical Integration of Food for Thought
Longview's Troy Duster and renowned chef Alice Waters describe a new trend in experiential learning .
Explaining Differential Trust of DNA Forensic Technology: Grounded Assessment or Inexplicable Paranoia
With the development of DNA technology and the professed ability to determine racial heritage from a DNA sample, law enforcement has further justification to investigate citizens based solely on race. The extent to which Americans trust the police to use this power impartially varies, understandably, by race and class.
Medicine and People of Color
Troy Duster on an unlikely mix: race, biology and drugs
Debating Proposition 54: Data that bear on matters of life and death
Troy Duster examines California's "Racial Privacy Initiative".
New Book by Longview's Troy Duster
The link describes the co-authored book, *Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society*, published by University of California Press.
Troy Duster: The molecular reinscription of race: unanticipated issues in biotechnology and forensic science
Research into health disparities between different racial groups is on the rise, but Troy Duster argues that these mostly well-intentioned efforts, along with recent forensic science, could reinforce ideas of racial difference and pave the way for new forms of racial profiling.
Troy Duster: Lessons from History: Why Race and Ethnicity Have Played A Major Role in Biomedical Research
Although scientific researchers might think of themselves as purely objective, especially on issues of race, Troy Duster draws a parallel between today’s study of racial difference through population genetics and the justifications for racial discrimination produced by scientists of previous decades. His analysis leads him to predict the emergence of mutually reinforcing research and policy that will tie race to behavior, especially misbehavior, all under the banner of unbiased inquiry.
News Items
Troy Duster Profiled in New York Times
Troy Duster, a Longview Institute Senior Fellow, urges geneticists to slow down and check their methods as they search for links between genes, disease and race in the October 18th edition of the New York Times.
Great Transformations
Please visit for more on alternatives to market fundamentalism.
Some recent writings by colleagues that we want to share with you.
Featured Books
Whitewashing Race
Whitewashing Race
Michael K. Brown, Martin Carnoy, Elliott Currie, Troy Duster, David B. Oppenheimer, Marjorie M. Shultz, and David Wellman

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