Letters: 'A Troublesome Inheritance'

To the Editor:

As scientists dedicated to studying genetic variation, we thank David Dobbs for his review of Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History” (July 13), and for his description of Wade’s misappropriation of research from our field to support arguments about differences among human societies.

As discussed by Dobbs and many others, Wade juxtaposes an incomplete and inaccurate account of our research on human genetic differences with speculation that recent natural selection has led to worldwide differences in I.Q. test results, political institutions and economic development. We reject Wade’s implication that our findings substantiate his guesswork. They do not.

We are in full agreement that there is no support from the field of population genetics for Wade’s conjectures.


Graham Coop

Davis, Calif.

The writer is a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis.


MICHAEL B. EISEN

BERKELEY, CALIF.

The writer is a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


RASMUS NIELSEN

BERKELEY, CALIF.

The writer is a professor of computational biology at the University of California, Berkeley.


MOLLY PRZEWORSKI

NEW YORK

The writer is a professor of biology at Columbia University.


NOAH ROSENBERG

STANFORD, CALIF.

The writer is a professor of biology at Stanford University.


This letter was submitted on behalf of more than 100 faculty members in population genetics and evolutionary biology (listed below). The letter appears online in the August 8, 2014 issue of The New York Times Book Review.

Name

Affiliation

1 Goncalo Abecasis University of Michigan
2 Devin Absher HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
3 Joshua Akey University of Washington
4 David Altshuler Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
5 Peter Andolfatto Princeton University
6 Adam Auton Albert Einstein College of Medicine
7 Doris Bachtrog University of California, Berkeley
8 David Balding University College London, United Kingdom
9 Michael Bamshad University of Washington
10 Guido Barbujani Università di Ferrara
11 Gregory Barsh Stanford University & HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
12 Doron Behar Rambam Medical Center, Israel
13 Jada Benn Torres University of Notre Dame
14 Jaume Bertranpetit Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
15 Abigail Bigham University of Michigan
16 Michael Boehnke University of Michigan
17 Deborah Bolnick University of Texas, Austin
18 Anne Bowcock Imperial College London, United Kingdom
19 Carlos Bustamante Stanford University
20 Francesc Calafell Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
21 Ranajit Chakraborty University of North Texas Health Science Center
22 Aravinda Chakravarti Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
23 Andrew Clark Cornell University
24 Graham Coop University of California, Davis
25 Jerry Coyne University of Chicago
26 Michael DeGiorgio Pennsylvania State University
27 Anna Di Rienzo University of Chicago
28 Peter Donnelly University of Oxford, United Kingdom
29 Richard Durbin Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom
30 Evan Eichler University of Washington & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
31 Michael Eisen University of California, Berkeley & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
32 Yaniv Erlich New York Genome Center & Columbia University
33 Laurent Excoffier University of Bern, Switzerland
34 Daniel Falush Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
35 Justin Fay Washington University in St. Louis
36 Marcus Feldman Stanford University
37 Joseph Felsenstein University of Washington
38 Greg Gibson Georgia Institute of Technology
39 Yoav Gilad University of Chicago
40 David Goldstein Duke University
41 Esteban Gonzalez Burchard University of California, San Francisco
42 Joseph Graves North Carolina A&T State University & University of North Carolina, Greensboro
43 Matthew Hahn Indiana University, Bloomington
44 Michael Hammer University of Arizona, Tucson
45 John Hardy University College London, United Kingdom
46 Garrett Hellenthal University College London, United Kingdom
47 Brenna Henn State University of New York, Stony Brook
48 Ryan Hernandez University of California, San Francisco
49 Evelyne Heyer Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, France
50 Joel Hirschhorn Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard University
51 Richard Hudson University of Chicago
52 Keith Hunley University of New Mexico
53 Mattias Jakobsson Uppsala University, Sweden
54 Mark Jobling University of Leicester, United Kingdom
55 Lynn Jorde University of Utah
56 Henrik Kaessmann University of Lausanne, Switzerland
57 Alon Keinan Cornell University
58 Joanna Kelley Washington State University
59 Brian Kemp Washington State University
60 Eimear Kenny Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
61 Jeffrey Kidd University of Michigan
62 Kenneth Kidd Yale University
63 Mary-Claire King University of Washington
64 Mark Kirkpatrick University of Texas, Austin
65 Rick Kittles University of Illinois, Chicago
66 Toomas Kivisild University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
67 Joseph Lachance Georgia Institute of Technology
68 Marta Mirazón Lahr University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
69 Tuuli Lappalainen New York Genome Center & Columbia University
70 Cecil Lewis University of Oklahoma
71 Jun Li University of Michigan
72 Kirk Lohmueller University of California, Los Angeles
73 Jeffrey Long University of New Mexico
74 Daniel MacArthur Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard University
75 Ripan Malhi University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
76 Franz Manni Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, France
77 Tomas Marques-Bonet Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
78 Gil McVean Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, United Kingdom
79 Joanna Mountain 23andMe, Inc.
80 Connie Mulligan University of Florida
81 Richard Myers HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
82 Michael Nachman University of California, Berkeley
83 Rasmus Nielsen University of California, Berkeley
84 Magnus Nordborg Gregor Mendel Institute, Austria
85 John Novembre University of Chicago
86 Harry Ostrer Albert Einstein College of Medicine
87 Sarah Otto University of British Columbia, Canada
88 Svante Paabo Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
89 Lior Pachter University of California, Berkeley
90 Nick Patterson Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
91 Bret Payseur University of Wisconsin, Madison
92 Itsik Pe'er Columbia University
93 Trevor Pemberton University of Manitoba, Canada
94 George (PJ) Perry Pennsylvania State University
95 Dmitri Petrov Stanford University
96 Vincent Plagnol University College London, United Kingdom
97 Alkes Price Harvard University
98 Jonathan Pritchard Stanford University & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
99 Molly Przeworski Columbia University
100 Lluis Quintana-Murci Institut Pasteur, France
101 Peter Ralph University of Southern California
102 Sohini Ramachandran Brown University
103 Bruce Rannala University of California, Davis
104 David Reich Harvard University & Howard Hughes Medical Institute
105 Neil Risch University of California, San Francisco
106 Matthew Rockman New York University
107 Noah Rosenberg Stanford University
108 Charles Rotimi In a personal capacity
109 Aylwyn Scally University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
110 Michael Seldin University of California, Davis
111 Guy Sella Columbia University
112 David Serre Cleveland Clinic
113 Mark Shriver Pennsylvania State University
114 Adam Siepel Cornell University
115 Andrew B. Singleton In a personal capacity
116 Karl Skorecki Technion Ð Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
117 Montgomery Slatkin University of California, Berkeley
118 Yun S. Song University of California, Berkeley
119 Chris Spencer Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, United Kingdom
120 Stephen Stearns Yale University
121 Anne Stone Arizona State University
122 Mark Stoneking Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
123 Hua Tang Stanford University
124 Alan Templeton Washington University in St. Louis
125 Mark G. Thomas University College London, United Kingdom
126 Sarah Tishkoff University of Pennsylvania
127 Paul Verdu Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
128 Richard Villems University of Tartu, Estonia
129 Benjamin Voight University of Pennsylvania
130 John Wakeley Harvard University
131 Jeffrey Wall University of California, San Francisco
132 James Weber PreventionGenetics
133 Kenneth Weiss Pennsylvania State University
134 Spencer Wells The Genographic Project, National Geographic Society
135 Eske Willerslev University of Copenhagen, Denmark
136 Amy L. Williams Cornell University
137 Scott Williams Dartmouth College
138 Elad Ziv University of California, San Francisco
139 Sebastian Zöllner University of Michigan

After publication of the letter in The New York Times Book Review, a number of additional faculty in population genetics who had not had the opportunity to sign added their names. We include these below.


Name

Affiliation

140 Emmanouil Dermitzakis University of Geneva, Switzerland
141 Emilia Huerta-Sanchez University of California, Merced
142 Norman Johnson University of Massachusetts, Amherst
143 Shamil Sunyaev Harvard Medical School & Brigham & Women's Hospital