Don’t miss today’s keynote address
Nina Jablonski, PhD, brings the past forward.
K001 – Keynote Speaker: Why Should Dermatologists Pay Attention to the Evolution of Skin and Skin Pigmentation and the History of Color-Based Race Classification?
Thursday, Aug. 10 | 5 – 5:45 p.m.
The connections between skin, pigmentation, and ultraviolet radiation go back to our ancestors. In contrast, concepts of color-based race are only a few centuries old. How can dermatologists learn from this turbulent past to improve patient outcomes?
That’s the question behind this afternoon’s 2023 Innovation Academy’s “K001 – Keynote Speaker: Why Should Dermatologists Pay Attention to the Evolution of Skin and Skin Pigmentation and the History of Color-Based Race Classification?” delivered by Nina Jablonski, PhD. Dr. Jablonski’s specialized knowledge and research on the natural — and unnatural — developments of skin and skin pigmentation over time precedes her. Specifically, Dr. Jablonski will focus her findings on the role of dermatologists — then and now — in color-based race classification and its tenacity.
In addition to her professorship of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Dr. Jablonski is director of the Center for Human Evolution and Diversity and is a permanent visiting fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in South Africa. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Keeping with the times
According to Dr. Jablonski, the current terminology for skin color and race are inequitable, ill-informed, and obsolete, and must be overhauled to move forward in a way that mutually benefits both doctors and patients. Some of the key points that she will address will build on a previous TED talk she gave, which has more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
- Human race classification is not natural.
- People have varied skin colors because of biology, genetics, and evolution.
- Skin pigmentation has changed as new barriers arise.
Dr. Jablonski wants to help dermatologists be at the vanguard of change. She hopes her talk will spark conversation and collaboration both at the meeting and long afterward.
“What I’m providing is context,” Dr. Jablonski said. “It’s really important for dermatologists to remember that the patients they’re seeing are literally products of evolution.”