Jason Fletcher

Professor

College of Letters & Science l La Follette School of Public Affairs & Department of Sociology

Hometown: Athens, TN

Jason Fletcher is a Romnes Professor of Public Affairs with appointments in Sociology, Agricultural and Applied Economics and Population Health Sciences as well as the Director of the Center for Demography on Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to coming to UW in 2013, he held appointments at Yale University and Columbia University. Fletcher has published over 125 academic articles and has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, William T. Grant Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation, among others. A health economist by training, he has worked to integrate genetics and social science over the past decade, culminating in his book The Genome Factor.

Talks:

  • For a century, social scientists have avoided genetics like the plague. But the nature-nurture wars are over. In the past decade, a small but intrepid group of economists, political scientists, and sociologists have harnessed the genomics revolution to paint a more complete picture of human social life than ever before. Jason’s research tackles controversial topics such as genetically personalized education and the future of reproduction in a world where more and more of us are taking advantage of cheap genotyping services like 23andMe to find out what our genes may hold in store for ourselves and our children. Join us for a conversation about genetic testing and your choices and risks.

  • The presentation will describe some of the recent major advances in genomics and their implications for policy and society. One focus will be on how statistical methods applied to “big data” in human genetics, often within private companies, offer new avenues for discrimination as well as targeted interventions and how new policies may be needed to address these rapid changes.