Daphne Martschenko, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics.

I hold an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in Politics, Development, and Democratic Education and in 2019 received a Ph.D. in Education, also from the University of Cambridge. My doctoral work investigated teacher perspectives on the role and relevance of genetic data for education, focusing on how behavioral genetics research on educational attainment and intelligence intersected with educators’ conceptualizations of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the American education system. I have appeared in numerous podcasts including Freakonomics Radio. I’ve had my work published in publicly accessible media outlets like Scientific American and The Conversation. My work advocates for and facilitates research efforts that promote socially responsible communication of and community engagement with social and behavioral genomics.

Currently I am writing a book with my friend and colleague Sam Trejo, a quantitative social scientist interested in how social and biological factors jointly shape human development across the life-course. In it, we unpack various social, ethical, and policy issues related to the DNA revolution. The floodgates of genetic data have opened, resurfacing age-old debates and raising new questions. We hope our book moves past the dichotomies—interpretivist vs. positivist, qualitative vs. quantitative, optimism vs. pessimism regarding biological explanations—that vex the biosocial sciences.

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