This study explores the implications of the transition from the so-called classical genetic markers (based on blood group and protein polymorphisms) to DNA-based markers, and how definitions of biological race or population are used by molecular biologists, medical researchers, evolutionary biologists, and forensic scientists. Of particular interest is the investigation of how scientists define human population groups for studies in population genetics and DNA forensics, and how the results of these studies are conveyed to the public and ultimately exploited commercially. The study is conducted by Erika Hagelberg. She is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, and is trained as a biochemist and historian of science. She pioneered the analysis of DNA from bone and has been active in DNA typing, human molecular genetics and molecular evolution for 25 years.
This part of the project draws on the other studies and discusses ethical implications of applying various concepts of race or ethnicity to groups of people and to what degree researchers should be held responsible for the political, cultural and societal implications and consequences of the choices they make. Responsible for this study is Hallvard Fossheim is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen.