“Science at its core is systematically racist and sexist,” said computational biologist Laura Boykin at the WIRED 25 conference in San Francisco on Friday.
Boykin works for the Cassava Virus Action Project, which uses DNA sequencing technology to help farmers in Africa find pathogens in the staple crop in real time.
Referencing a study published in Nature last week suggesting that modern human life may have originated in Botswana, Boykin said, “Nature should never have published the study.
Local communities had no access to the data.
Malkia Devich-Cyril, her fellow panelist, had an equally grim assessment of how US technology companies handle the data of communities of color.
“They know everything about us, and we know nothing about them,” said Devich-Cyril, cofounder of the media and technology rights and representation organization MediaJustice.