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  Anthropology, Genetic Diversity, and Ethics 
 
 
A workshop at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies  
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  
 
 
 
Session One:
Questions and Answers

Eric Juengst: Trudy, what's your pleasure?  Would you like us to take a few questions. 

Trudy Turner: Yes. 

Juengst: The floor is open.  Morris. 
[inaudible comment to Frank Dukepoo] 

Dukepoo: Thank you for your comments, Morris.  I didn't mean to pick on you personally, but I just wanted to point that out as.. part of the complex, how complex this is.  It's already been done and published.  Now, what we're going to look at in the future is what effect does this have on other Indian populations.  I mean, how will the other tribes look at Oklahoma Apaches?  And I'm getting comments that say, well, did they sell out, what did they do, were they enticed, what was their -- was there somebody up there in the tribal ranks who sold out his tribe?  You know, these kinds of questions are raised, and I think these are important issues that we have to look out.  And I hate to pick on that one tribe, but I looked at it because it was published, and I thought this was legitimate to just cite this as an example.  So, I'm glad that you mentioned that we are learning from this, from the other side, but I'm curious about what repercussions it might have on the Indian community, because like I said, that word spreads real fast. 
[inaudible comments from several participants] 

Dukepoo: You know how we distinguish, you guys are elephant Indians, we're horse Indians! [laughter] 
[inaudible comment] 

Juengst: Well, here you've gotten me well beyond my area of expertise -- 
[inaudible response] 

Juengst: Right.  I guess it would be, follow the model of the field biologist, who would say -- not that I have a particular population, but I have a particular geographic locale.  I want to put a grid across, you know, the lower half of South America, and sample randomly across that grid, and see what kinds of patterns emerge.  I mean, I'm not a scientist, so you have to tell me whether that's a feasible...  Well, it won't tell some kinds of stories, that's for sure.  It won't -- [inaudible comment]  Right.  It won't tell -- [inaudible]  Uh huh.  [inaudible comment]  That's right.  And in that case, it's a, you have to, I guess, be hard-nosed on that issue.  You have to be the neutral, Galilean scientist who says, well, I can't worry about what this does to your cultural myths and social integrity.  I just have to let the facts fall out as they may.  Maybe that's unacceptable in this day and age!  Okay.  [inaudible]  No, I don't have a good formula for how to resolve that problem, because in some ways, I think it's irresolvable.  But maybe the answer then is, then you ought to let people know that, so that even at the level of when you're getting consent from a locale, say this might have repercussions for your kin in other places, take that into consideration.  Or, the other option would be to say if one group says no, then we don't involve any of their sibling groups around the world.  That's the perspective that -- [inaudible comment].  Right.  Well, that's the perspective that the Human Genome Diversity Project committee has actually taken, that if somebody says no, that we won't accept samples from any other kin. 
[inaudible question]  Well, which program, the Human Genome Diversity Project?  [inaudible]  No, as I understand it, it was an expression of interest by the scientific community first, and a proposal to the government that this would be a good thing to do.  [inaudible] To the extent that it's not funded, right! 
[inaudible question]  Well, maybe it's a kind of embryonic child.  Because there are scientists that are still interested in pursuing it, and they're in the process of trying to figure out how best to do that, through this grant that funds this workshop, is part of that process.  The NSF has called for proposals to figure out the best ways to do this. 
[inaudible]  There are so many scientific questions you can ask by taking this general approach of comparing genomes, that it would be equivalent to saying, well, what is the goal of human science, of studying human beings?  I mean, there are medical goals, historical goals, anthropological goals. [inaudible]  tape stops and resumes.  Good, well, maybe we can discuss that in the small groups. 

Dukepoo:  Can I just address that briefly?  It's kind of, Indians are saying, when they encountered the white man, and the white man looked on the Indians and said, "Gee, look at all this land, you're not doing anything with it! We'll show you what to do with your land."  It's like now, they're coming back, "Gee, look at all these genes you have, we'll show you what to do with those genes!" [laughter]  Something like that, right?  Maybe.

 
 
 
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