The Gloomy Prospect Wins: Statistical Significance and Population Stratification in Genome Wide Association Studies

Sponsored by Center for Integration of Research in Genetics and Ethics


Monday, September 8, 2008
4:00 pm –
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Munzer Auditorium, Beckman Center

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Dr. Eric Turkheimer of the University of Virginia presents:

The contemporary era has seen a convergence of genomic technology and traditional social scientific concerns with complex human individual differences. Rather than finally turning social science into a replicable hard-scientific enterprise, genomics has gotten bogged down in the long-standing frustrations of social science. A recent report of an extensive genome wide association study of human height demonstrates the profound difficulties of explaining uncontrolled human variation at a genomic level. The statistical technologies that have been brought to bear on the problem of genomic association are simply modifications of similar methods that have been used by social scientists for decades, with little success. The motivation for the statistical methods in genomics is the same as it is in traditional social science: An attempt to discern linear causation in complex systems when experimental control is not possible.

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