The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

A provocative and timely case for how the science of genetics can help create a more just and equal society


Sep 21, 2021
6.13 x 9.25 in.
22 b/w illus.
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In recent years, scientists like Kathryn Paige Harden have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health—and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society.

In The Genetic Lottery, Harden introduces readers to the latest genetic science, dismantling dangerous ideas about racial superiority and challenging us to grapple with what equality really means in a world where people are born different. Weaving together personal stories with scientific evidence, Harden shows why our refusal to recognize the power of DNA perpetuates the myth of meritocracy, and argues that we must acknowledge the role of genetic luck if we are ever to create a fair society.

Reclaiming genetic science from the legacy of eugenics, this groundbreaking book offers a bold new vision of society where everyone thrives, regardless of how one fares in the genetic lottery.

Kathryn Paige Harden on The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

Listen in: The Genetic Lottery

Awards and Recognition

  • An Economist Book of the Year