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On Oct. 20-21, the “Sex in the Post-genome Era” symposium facilitated discussion on how genetics influence and interact with gender and sex, merging knowledge from fields of social sciences, history, biology, health, and others. The symposium was a collaborative effort sponsored by the Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, One Health Initiative, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Graduate and Professional Studies.
The keynote address was given by Dr. Sarah Richardson, John L. Loeb professor of the social sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of the History of Sciences at Harvard University. She is a renowned scholar studying sex and genetics who has authored several books on the subject, including Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome.
As part of her talk, Richardson detailed the history of genetic conceptions of sex, current theories on the topic, and suggested future research directions. She said her aim of this talk was to bring together the tools of history, philosophy, sociology, and science and consider ongoing developments in the study of sex.
Richardson challenged traditional concepts about sex and gender as it relates to genetics. “Sex is not a concept that is transcendent and written a priori,” she said. “It’s a meek human concept, a humble concept, a plural concept, a polysemic and pragmatic concept by which we try to grasp the world.”
The following day, the discussion continued with the following presentations:
A poster session was also held as part of the stress symposium. The winners are as follows:
Originally posted in the 2016 Dean's Corner. View the original article here.