Is there a role for race, ethnicity and ancestry in science, and if so, what is it?
Popejoy: That’s one of the most common questions I get asked in my field. If race and ethnicity are social or cultural constructs, why include them in our research at all, when genetic ancestry seems so much more scientific? And the answer is that unfortunately, in a society plagued by systemic and institutionalized racism, sociocultural identity has a very real impact on health, as not everyone has equal access to nutrition, education and health care. So, race is not biological, but it does have real biological effects in an unequal society.