Can DNA Help Us Grapple with the Past?

We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but genetic testing is also impacting urgent social issues around race in America. DNA-based techniques are being used in a variety of ways, including to grapple with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry. Alondra Nelson joins the Aspen Institute’s Michele Norris for a conversation about DNA as a portal to the past, revealing social traumas and historical injustices that resonate today and into the future.

Festival: 2017

Watch and Listen: U.S.A.

The #MeToo movement has forced America into a transparent conversation about sex and power. From clear cut cases of... See more
Since Syria and Nicaragua joined the Paris Accord last fall, the United States stands alone as the only country on the... See more
True, sustainable social change is difficult to achieve, and historically very few donors have been willing to make big... See more
Racial segregation and uneven access to opportunity are powerful obstacles to upward mobility in the US, contributing... See more
Institutions and communities across America are divided over politics, culture, identity, and the overall direction of... See more
The public’s opinion of institutions of higher learning is diminishing. Whether it is because of the high cost or... See more

Pages