The Genetics Society of America does not take stands on political candidates or parties. Nevertheless, because the recent American election campaign was characterized by deep divisions and episodes of anger and fear, we feel compelled to reaffirm the values that unite us.

Science thrives on diversity. Like most scientists, genetic researchers rarely work alone; they come together in cooperative research groups. The varied experiences, expertise, and perspectives that each researcher brings to such groups are vital to their collective success. This need for diverse views is also true of the entire scientific enterprise. For example, the United States has benefitted enormously from the work of immigrants and visiting scientists, as well as from international collaboration.

Valuing diversity not only enhances our abilities to make new discoveries, but also makes science more fair. When genetic research is led by people with varied backgrounds, we are more likely to see the benefits of innovation—advances in medicine, biotechnology, agriculture, and our understanding of the natural world—extended to everyone.

The GSA is committed to fostering a diverse workforce in genetic research and to ensuring that people from all backgrounds and nations can fully participate in our field.

 

Executive Committee of the Genetics Society of America

Stanley Fields, PhD, President

Lynn Cooley, PhD, Vice-President

Jasper Rine, PhD, Past President

David Greenstein, PhD, Secretary

Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD, Treasurer

Dmitri Petrov, PhD, At-large Director

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  1. […] Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the University of California and the Genetics Society of America, among […]

  2. Eric says:

    I must recommend everyone rewatch the 1947 film strip ‘Don’t be a sucker’

    The most relevant segment is a professor confronted by Right Wing Paramilitants. He continues his lecture undeterred:

    ‘There is no Aryan race – and more important – there is NO master race. There are people who may find these ideas convenient, but science cannot support them. There is no scientific proof of correlation between a man’s racial characteristics and his native ability, or character. In all racial groups you find similar ranges of potentialities.’

    Today it seems under the material logic of the selfish gene it has become convenient to accept the ‘natural’ premise of a brutal Darwinism. I feel as a community we must take the same stand as the depicted professor. Individuals and society must take responsibility for our memes – diversity of genotype and phenotype is a blessing, not a curse.

  3. Arthur Lustig says:

    Stanley, Lynn, Jasper, David, Sue and Dmitri,
    Our commitment is admirable. But in the face of the constraints on opportunity for diverse groups and for immigrants to our country, how do we prevent the imposition of anti-diversity regulations and laws, first, and their effect on science, second?. Apart from advocacy, a context where we may or may not be heard (it is too early to tell), what actions can we take as a group? Stan wrote an admirable letter to the POTUS-elect but it would seem we have to do much more. We have to co-organize with other scientific groups who often separately advocacy groups in order to to be a large enough force to warrant attention. We must put our own divisions of interest behind us for now and just promote the study of science as a major requirement for education, new jobs, We must become part of the essential infrastructure. (No, I do not want to head that group), but there are many gifted advocates that we need for their organizational skills and to establish a web of contact with representatives and senators.Don’t wait for the crisis! Rather, this should be an ongoing effect, both for our continual presence and for our legislators’ own education. That is the challenge that we face may be clear, but difficult to carry out without the active engagement of more of the community to ensure our own survival.