The American Sociological Association (ASA) honored La Follette School Professor Jason Fletcher and co-author Dalton Conley with two awards for their book, The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals about Ourselves, Our History & the Future.
Fletcher and Conley received a Best Book Award as well as the Otis Dudley Duncan Award at the ASA’s Annual Meeting on August 14. The Otis Dudley Duncan Award is given by the ASA’s Sociology of Population section for a book that has made significant contributions to social demography during the last three calendar years. The Best Book Award was from the ASA’s Section on Evolution, Biology, and Society.
Fletcher’s research explores the integration of sociology and genetics, the responsible use of genetic data, the biological factors that make a difference in human behavior, and the efficacy of policies directed to shape that behavior.
“Jason is one of a handful of pioneers in this emerging and transformative field, a prolific author, and a relentless collaborator,” said Director and Professor Susan Yackee. “These awards recognize the extraordinary quality of his research, and the La Follette School is honored to have him on our faculty.”
Trained as a health economist, Fletcher has given numerous presentations about the social genomics revolution in Wisconsin and elsewhere, including several funded by the Herb Kohl Public Service Research Competition.
A video of his Crossroads of Ideas presentation – sponsored by the Morgridge Institute for Research, UW–Madison, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation – is on the Discovery Building website. Wisconsin Public Radio also interviewed Fletcher in November 2017 about The Potential Risks of Consumer Genetic Testing Services; the audio is online.
“Dalton and I are pleased and honored by the recognition that the book has received,” Fletcher said. “I am excited to continue the discussions with public audiences on the many important policy implications of the social genomics revolution."
Fletcher is the Romnes Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology with additional appointments in Agricultural and Applied Economics and Population Health Sciences. He is director of UW–Madison’s Center for Demography of Health and Aging and the Wisconsin Policy Analysis Lab.
A highly published researcher, Fletcher joined UW–Madison in 2013, after serving as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University from 2010-2012 and as an associate professor public health at Yale University. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees, in 2003 and 2006, respectively, in applied economics from UW–Madison.
Fletcher also is on the executive committees of the Center for Demography and Ecology, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the Federal Statistical Research Data Center at Wisconsin. He has received numerous National Institutes of Health grants. In addition, Fletcher created and taught the course Molecular Me: Social Implications of the Genomics Revolution in 2017.