What's Your DNA Profile Doing on a Federal Database?

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
April 11,2011 Belmont Media Center, Belmont, MA

Sheldon Krimsky, Ph.D., Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Family Medicine in the School of Medicine at Tufts. Affiliated also with The New School, New York City.

Professor Krimsky discusses the scientific and legal grounding behind forensic DNA collections and the myths about DNA infallibility in criminal justice. In 1924 the identification division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was established to provide one central repository of fingerprints. In 1998 the FBI officially launched its Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that linked the DNA collections of 50 states. Forensic DNA has revolutionized criminal investigation. But there are many things the public does not know about the way DNA profiles are collected and used. Also there is a mystique about the infallibility of DNA matches in criminal investigations. Professor Krimsky explores these issues in his recent book Genetic Justice (co-authored with Tania Simoncelli; Columbia Univ Press, 2011). Meet Sheldon Krimsky, PhD

More about Sheldon Krimsky:

  • Fellow, American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, National Institutes of Health 1978-1981
  • Consultant, Presidential Commission on Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine & Biomedical & Behavioral Research
  • Consultant, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment
  • Special study panel for the American Civil Liberties Union for policy on civil liberties and scientific research
  • Chair, Committee on Scientific Freedom & Responsibility, Assoc. Advancement of Science 1988-1992
  • Fellow, Hastings Center on Bioethics
  • Committee A of the American Association of University Professors
  • Founding member and board chair, Council for Responsible Genetics

Dr. Krimsky is author/co-author or editor/co-editor of the following books for the general public:

  • Genetic Alchemy: The Social History of the Recombinant DNA Controversy (MIT Press, 1982)
  • Biotechnics and Society: The Rise of Industrial Genetics (Praeger, 1991)
  • Hormonal Chaos:The Scientific and Social Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis (Johns Hopkins U University Press, 2000)
  • Science in the Private Interest: Has the lure of profits corrupted biomedical research? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)
  • Genetic Justice: DNA Databanking, Criminal Investigations and Civil Liberties (co-authored w/Tania Simoncelli; Columbia University Press, 2011)
  • Environmental Hazards: Communicating Risks as a Social Process (Auburn House, 1988)
  • Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment: Science, Policy and Social Values (University of llinois, 1996)
  • Social Theories of Risk. (S. Krimsky & D. Golding (Eds). (Praeger, 1992)
  • Rights and Liberties in the Biotech Age: Why We Need a Genetic Bill of Rights (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

To be released soon: his co-edited volume: Race and the Genetic Revolution Professor Krimsky has also published over 180 essays and reviews that have appeared in many books and journals.