Sunday, August 30, 2009

let. to ed. re. "Baseball’s Use of DNA Raises Questions" -- NY Times

Schmidt & Schwarz’s article raises serious concerns regarding the use of DNA testing in baseball. It is likely, however, that these concerns represent only the tip of the iceberg. Teams invest millions in their players; given this, would an owner pass up the opportunity to learn more about a player’s long-term potential through a relatively cheap genome analysis? Further, baseball, like many professional sports, sustains a strong statistics subculture that will likely see genetic testing as an integral component of a player’s dossier (along with height, weight and say ERA). In a worst case scenario, this testing would ignore the significant privacy concerns -- both to the individual and their family that share’s much of the same genes -- resulting from the disclosure of a person’s genetic predispositions. It could be even done surreptitiously by a fan or rival based on trace DNA remains lifted off of personal items.

Dov Greenbaum JD MPhil PhD
Mark Gerstein, PhD

Above text is an unpublished letter in response to:
Baseball’s Use of DNA Raises Questions
Published: July 21, 2009