Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Feb. 6: Fletcher on the genomics revolution, social implications

Jason Fletcher Jason Fletcher

La Follette School Professor Jason Fletcher will present Molecular Me: Exploring the Social Implications of the Genomics Revolution from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 6. His presentation is part of the Wednesday Night at the Lab (WN@TL) series at UW–Madison’s Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall.

Fletcher will describe some of the recent major advances in genomics and their implications for policy and society. One focus will be on how statistical methods applied to “big data” in human genetics, often within private companies, offer new avenues for discrimination and targeted interventions, and how new policies may be needed to address these rapid changes.

In 2017, Fletcher and co-author Dalton Conley of Princeton University published The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals about Ourselves, Our History & the Future. The book received two awards from the American Sociological Association in 2018 – the Otis Dudley Duncan Award from the Society of Population section and the Best Book Award from the Section on Evolution, Biology, and Society.

A highly published researcher, Fletcher joined UW–Madison in 2013, after serving as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University from 2010 to 2012 and as an associate professor public health at Yale University. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees, in 2003 and 2006, respectively, in applied economics from UW–Madison.

Fletcher, a Romnes Professor of Public Affairs, also serves as director of the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at UW–Madison.