Benjamin Domingue, Professor, Sociology, Stanford University
Driven by our recent mapping of the human genome, genetics research is increasingly prominent and beginning to reintersect with education research. In our study, we describe previous intersections of these fields, focusing on the ways that they were harmful. We then discuss novel features of genetics research in the current era, with an emphasis on possibilities deriving from the availability of molecular genetic data and the proliferation of genome-wide association studies. We discuss both the promises and potential pitfalls resulting from the convergence of molecular genetic research and education research. The floodgates of genetic data have opened. Collaboration between those in the social and biomedical sciences; open conversation among policy makers, educators, and researchers; and public engagement will all prove critical for enacting regulations and research designs that emphasize equity.
Ben Domingue is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He is interested in how student outcomes are leveraged to inform our understanding of student learning, teacher performance, and the efficacy of other programs. He has a particular interest in the technical issues that make it challenging to draw simple inferences from such student outcomes. While not analyzing item response data, he may be found thinking about the implications for social science of the sudden increase in our capacity to measure human DNA and the promise and pitfalls associated with how this new data may change our understanding of human behavior.