Abstract: The political theorist and public intellectual Hannah Arendt worried in her classic text, The Human Condition, that the rise of mathematics and technological “proof” would threaten public capacities to speak and think, and thus to decide, the meaning and purposes of collective life. In this talk, Reardon considers the need to attend to Arendt’s concern in the wake of the rise of genomics and its importation of big data and mathematics into the heart of the life sciences. What new challenges do –omics big data style modes of analysis present to “our” capacities to think and speak about human differences, and “our” abilities to critically address questions of race and social justice? Who are “we” becoming as we attempt to answer this question?
Co-sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program
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