Noah Tamarkin Receives National Science Foundation and Wenner-Gren Foundation Research Awards to Study How Genetic Technologies Intersect with Postcolonial Law and Policing

August 29, 2016
Noah Tamarkin

Noah Tamarkin, assistant professor, Comparative Studies, has received two research awards to support his project on the intersections between genetic technologies and postcolonial law and policing. The specific focus of the project is the global proliferation of national criminal DNA databases, and the varied people and processes that make this possible. This research, which will take place in South Africa, investigates global criminal forensic genetics as an emerging citizenship formation with interconnected local, national, and transnational influences and implications. It uses ethnographic methodologies to consider how a cross-section of people from diverse social and political backgrounds who have different forms of expertise and different ideas about the meaning of science and justice are brought together through their roles in enacting South Africa’s emerging investment in forensic genetics. The Wenner-Gren research grant, “Juridical Genetics: Scientific Citizenship and Genetic Justice in South Africa,” supports field research in South Africa in summer 2016 and 2017. The three-year, $279, 821 NSF grant, “Genetic Technology Development and International Security Efforts,” was awarded through the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division programs in Cultural Anthropology, Law and Social Science, and Science Technology and Society, and will support this project from 2017 through 2020. As part of the NSF grant, a graduate student will be trained in ethnographic project design and data analysis. This project is also supported by a seed grant from The Ohio State University’s Criminal Justice Research Center.