The impact of DTC genetic testing on racial and ethnic identity

23andMe Exhibitor Education Event at ASHG 2019

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Time: 12:45pm – 2:00pm
Location: Hilton Americas Houston, Lanier Ballroom DE, Level 4


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has offered millions of people a new way to look at their biogeographical origins. Their DNA yields insights into their “ancestry.” Despite these tests becoming more common, the general public and scientific community often misunderstand genetic ancestry and rarely discuss the broader societal implications of genetic ancestry testing. During this session, we will begin by clarifying genetic ancestry and the methods commonly used to infer it. After that foundation, we will delve into how DNA testing and its associated marketing may impact people’s perceptions and attitudes about race and ethnicity, including their own racial and ethnic identity. We will discuss research that might enable us to better understand the impact of this testing on attitudes towards race and ethnicity. We will close by taking questions from the audience for a panel discussion about the many scientific and ethical issues surrounding the topic.

Joanna Mountain
Senior Director of Research, 23andMe

Kanchan Chandra
Professor of Politics, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi

Charmaine Royal
Associate Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health and Director, Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, Duke University

Vence L. Bonham
Associate Investigator, Social and Behavioral Research Branch and Senior Advisor to the NHGRI Director on Genomics and Health Disparities, National Human Genome Research Institute

More information about 23andMe’s talks, posters, and booth at ASHG19 can be found here.