The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality
Harden (Kathryn Paige)
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Cover Blurbs

Publisher’s Blurb (Taken from Amazon, duplicates of above omitted)
  • Argues [...] to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the lives of dignity and comfort.
  • Harden introduces readers to the latest genetic science, dismantling dangerous ideas about racial superiority and challenging us to grapple with what equality really means in a world where people are born different. 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.
  • "The ultimate claim of The Genetic Lottery is an extraordinarily ambitious act of moral entrepreneurialism. Harden argues that an appreciation of the role of simple genetic luck — alongside all the other arbitrary lotteries of birth — will make us, as a society, more inclined to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy lives of dignity and comfort."
    → Gideon Lewis-Kraus, New Yorker
  • "While acknowledging the roles our environment and experiences play in shaping our lives, Harden makes the case that social scientists who want to address the roots of inequality must reckon with genetics. . . . The more researchers understand about the myriad factors that influence how our lives turn out, the more they can help improve outcomes for everyone. Genetics is one of those factors, Harden argues: when we ignore it, the most vulnerable suffer. "
    → Jennifer Latson, Texas Monthly
  • Kathryn Paige Harden is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UT, where she leads the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab and co-directs the Texas Twin Project. Harden received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia and completed her clinical internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School before moving to Austin in 2009. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the New Yorker, among others. In 2017, she was honored with a prestigious national award from the American Psychological Association for her distinguished scientific contributions to the study of genetics and human individual differences.

    1. Introduction – 3
    2. The Genetic Lottery – 27
    3. Cookbooks and College – 45
    4. Ancestry and Race – 72
    5. A Lottery of Life Chances – 96
    6. Random Assignment by Nature – 110
    7. The Mystery of How – 130
    1. Alternative Possible Worlds – 153
    2. Using Nature to Understand Nurture – 174
    3. Personal Responsibility – 193
    4. Difference without Hierarchy – 210
    5. Anti-Eugenic Science and Policy – 231
    Acknowledgments – 257
    Notes – 261
    Index – 295


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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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