As part of the American Academy's public program, each week we offer public lectures, concerts, screenings, or readings by Academy fellows, distinguished visitors, and special guests. Most evening lectures take place at the Hans Arnhold Center, but the Academy also partners with a handful of cultural institutions in Berlin for special events: Radialsytem V, the JFK Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin, Kino Babylon, the United States Embassy, and the Hertie School of Governance.
If you would like to attend an event, please register online, or send an email to email@example.com. Seating is limited, so please register well in advance of the lecture or event you would like to attend. We look forward to welcoming you at the Hans Arnhold Center.
In this lecture, Myles Jackson will explain how he has used the CCR5 gene as a heuristic tool to probe three critical developments in biotechnology from 1990 to 2010: gene patenting, HIV/AIDS diagnostics and therapeutics, and race and genomics. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Jackson ties together intellectual property, the sociology of race, and molecular biology by showing how certain patent regimes have rewarded different forms of intellectual property. The decision to patent genes was not inevitable, Jackson argues, nor "natural." Likewise, there is nothing inevitable about using race as a major category of human classification. Jackson explains the economic and political interests that rationalized those choices -- and explains the alternatives. He attempts to resurrect the past in order to illustrate the alternative paths not taken and explain why they were never chosen.