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From One Drop to One Percent: Impact of DNA Ancestry Tests on the Worldview of White Supremacists

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

12:00 PM-1:30 PM

Please join the Center for Science Technology and Society for our first colloquium event of the Winter term. Joan Donovan, PhD will be joining us to discuss her research on white nationalists' interpretations of genetic ancestry tests.


Advances in population genetics and the direct-to-consumer marketing of DNA ancestry tests are challenging how groups fashion and maintain their identities. Most commonly, researchers focus on how Native Americans and African Americans' identities are co-constructed through these new scientific narratives of history and human evolution. Until now though, few have looked at how white people use these tests to generate a sense of belonging to a group. As well, no one has taken on this controversial question: How do white supremacists understand and mobilize around this new genetic science?

Donovan is the Media Manipulation Research Lead at Data & Society. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Science Studies from the University of California San Diego. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics where she studied white nationalists use of science and DNA ancestry tests in the search for racial purity. For several years, Donovan has conducted action research with different networked social movements in order to map and improve the communication infrastructures built by protesters.

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Contact Information

Dorian Adams

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Attachments for this Event:


3401 Market Street, Room 110, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone

Special Features

  • Free Food