Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, January 19, 2018

Fletcher discussing social genomics Feb. 13 at Discovery

Fletcher discussing social genomics Feb. 13 at Discovery

La Follette School Professor Jason Fletcher will give the next Crossroads of Ideas presentation at UW–Madison’s Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard Street. Fletcher’s presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 13 is titled Molecular Me: Exploring the Social Implications of the Genomics Revolution. It is free and open to the public.

Fletcher will discuss his pioneering research that explores the integration of sociology and genetics – sometimes called socio-genomics. Socio-genomics seeks to understand how to use genetic data responsibly and how biological factors make a difference in human behavior and in the efficacy of policies directed to shape that behavior.

Fletcher, who has appointments in sociology, agricultural and applied economics, and population health sciences, and co-author Dalton Conley of Princeton University outline this ground-breaking research in their book, The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals about Ourselves, Our History and Our Future. He taught a similarly named course during the fall 2017 semester.

Trained as a health economist, Fletcher has made substantial research contributions in various areas, most notably examining the impacts of peers on health and educational outcomes. He also has contributed to a growing body of work at the intersection of health policy and education policy, where health policy is shown to be relevant to education outcomes, and vice versa.

Crossroads of Ideas addresses challenging and engaging social science topics such as politics, policy issues, ethics, public perceptions, law, and science and society. The lecture series’ title reflects the Discovery Building’s importance as a place for campus and community members to learn about thought-provoking topics. Crossroads refers to the building's location on campus and the intersection of the dozens of disciplines that work and study here.