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Human diversity as a research area

29 May 2018

Investigation by the University’s Human Diversity Research Network is interdisciplinary.

Human diversity abounds in language, culture and biology. An understanding of this diversity is central to a lot of research, but it is important to address the ethical issues raised by this research. The Human Diversity Research Network takes an interdisciplinary approach to diversity and also discusses ethical and social dimensions of the research.

“Many questions remain to be answered before we understand how languages, culture and genes interact in the social and physical environment,” says Michael Dunn, Professor of Linguistics and one of the research leaders of the Human Diversity Research Network.

Understanding human diversity in language and culture, and from a biological perspective, is central to research in humanities and social sciences, but also in genetics.

“To yield intelligible, useful knowledge, studying human diversity, which is based on historical social and biological processes, calls for research in various subjects. So interdisciplinary studies are key to exploring human diversity.”

The Human Diversity Research Network consists of researchers from fields such as linguistics, archaeology, gender studies and genetics. The network thus combines human diversity research in humanities and social sciences with genetic research on humans.

“The purpose of the network is for researchers from different fields to learn from one another and develop new, interdisciplinary ways of exploring human diversity. In parallel, we also want to stimulate discussion on the ethical and social dimensions of this research. Not least, it’s important to scrutinise the problematic research conducted historically through, for example, the Swedish State Institute for Racial Biology.”

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