Against the Weaponization of Genetic Research

CERA Statement


Mildred Cho, PhD & Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD

Publish date

CERA Statement Against the Weaponization of Genetic Research
Topic(s): Genetics Race

The shooting in Buffalo that resulted in the deaths of ten Black Americans is one of many in a series of tragedies that have resulted from systemic racism. We condemn white supremacy and the misuse of genetic research as justification for the violence against people of color. These tragic acts of terrorism not only impact the victims’ families, friends and communities but impact us all. We condemn the ongoing propagation of eugenic thinking and the weaponization of genetic research. The misrepresentation of genetic research findings to justify beliefs in racial hierarchy and who belongs in the US must not go unchallenged. Scholars, scientists, funders, policymakers, community advocates and others committed to investigating the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic research must recognize and address the racist use of genetic research.

To support this goal, we are collecting resources (articles, presentations, statements by professional organizations, etc.) on ELSIhub. We welcome your suggestions for additional resources and ask that you send these to

Co-Directors, Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA) 

Mildred Cho, PhD, Associate Director, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University

Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD, Chief, Division of Ethics, Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics, Columbia University 

See the original post on the ELSIhub website.

ELSIhub Resources

The set of resources below includes public-facing materials by genetic scientists to explain, provide context for, and clarify the limitations of their findings in select studies; condemnations of the misuse and misrepresentation of genetic science; and scholarship discussing the potential for public misunderstanding of sociogenomics. We include a reading list that explores genetic essentialism in American culture, materials that draw connections to the pseudoscientific racism of the early 20th century American eugenics movement, webinars, a curriculum, and more. These resources offer calls for scientists to take an active role in fighting white supremacy, additional scrutiny of reasons for accessing genomic data repositories, and consideration of the collection of racial category data in biomedical research.

FAQs about social and behavioral human genetics studies

Professional Statements

Media & Scholarship




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