Dorothy Roberts


  • PSC Associate Dorothy Roberts was interviewed by NPR about the case of Marshae Jones, who was indicted on manslaughter charges after her fetus was shot by another woman.

  • Dorothy Roberts, PSC Associate, and co-author penned responses to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the conviction and death sentence of Curtis Flowers based on racially motivated exclusions of potential jurors. While Roberts and Hollway believe the Court’s decision is sound, they question whether the ruling on the narrow context of one case alone weakens the institution of peremptory challenge itself. Read more in Penn Law News and Penn Today.

  • PSC Associate Dorothy Roberts' 2011 book Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (New Press), tops a new “Antiracist Reading List” published by the New York Times.

Director, Program on Race, Science and Society
George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology
Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
Professor of Africana Studies

J.D., Law, Harvard University, 1980


Dorothy Roberts, an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law, joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Law School where she also holds the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander chair. Her pathbreaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent contemporary issues in health, social justice, and bioethics, especially as they impact the lives of women, children and African-Americans. Her major books include Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New Press, 2011); Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997). She is the author of more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as a co-editor of six books on such topics as constitutional law and women and the law.


  • Trustees' Council of Penn Women Fall Conference: Dorothy E. Roberts on Women and the Law
  • Fighting for Family: Dorothy E. Roberts on Intersections of the Family and Criminal Punishment Systems
  • National Constitution Center: Dorothy E. Roberts Discusses "A Dangerous Idea: The History of Eugenics in America"