Featured Session: The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Equality

Mar 11, 2022

4:00pm – 5:00pm CT

In recent years, scientists have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health — and in ways that matter for success in our current society. Reclaiming genetic science from the legacy of eugenics, Kathryn Paige Harden offers a bold new vision of society where everyone thrives, regardless of how one fares in the genetic lottery.
Harden is Professor of Psychology at UT Austin, where she leads the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab and co-directs the Texas Twin Project. Using research from her book The Genetic Lottery, Harden dismantles dangerous ideas about racial superiority and challenging us to grapple with what equality means in a world where people are born different. Weaving personal stories with scientific evidence, Harden shows why our refusal to recognize the power of DNA perpetuates the myth of meritocracy, and argues that we must acknowledge the role of genetic luck if we are ever to create a fair society.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Kathryn Paige Harden
Kathryn Paige Harden

The University of Texas at Austin

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