Race and Biology - The Myth of Our Differences

Des Moines, IA US
November 22, 2019


There is no cost to attend and registration is not required.

Target Audience

Des Moines University faculty, staff, and students.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize variation in the socially constructed race categories during the 1800 and 1900, and recognize a causational force for human biological variation today.
  • Critique the use of the race concept as a strategy for knowing the value of a human being.
  • Evaluate the use of race as an explanatory variable in medical diagnoses.


Hannah E. Marsh, PhD
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Central Missouri

Dr. Marsh's research focuses on recent human cranial variation to infer the relatedness of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, specifically growth and development of the cranial vault. By looking at recent human variation through the scope of human evolution, she and others in her field have come to recognize that humans today have low variation levels, even though human groups can look very different from one another. In society, human variation is called race, and race is used to negatively judge people. However, human populational differences actually tell an amazing story about human survival around the world, something to be celebrated. Biology can help dismantle the societal stereotypes of race, and make a healthier and safer world for all of us.

Curriculum Vitae

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
11/22/2019 - 12:00pm CST
Event ends: 
11/22/2019 - 1:00pm CST
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
SEC #115
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States
+1 (515) 271-1445

Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines' most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.



Available Credit

  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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