Dorothy Roberts


  • In an opinion piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer, PSC Associate Dorothy Roberts writes about the continued prevalence of eugenics, which posits that “better breeding” via the suppression of reproductive rights can improve humanity. Hardly relegated to white supremacist ideology, she says, it has found a home in the sciences, where it justifies a number of social inequities as rooted in genetic differences.

  • At the first Penn and Slavery Symposium, hosted by Dorothy Roberts and researchers, students, faculty, and community members talked about the University’s connections to slavery. The meeting featured the unveiling of an augmented-reality project that will be expanded to spots all across campus this fall. Read Penn Today for more.

  • Dorothy E. Roberts has been named to be Rutgers University - Newark's 2019 commencement speaker. Roberts will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

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.


  • NAPW Webinar: Dorothy Roberts on "Overturning Roe: More than Abortion is at Stake"
  • Dorothy Roberts on Women Could Go to Jail for Miscarriages if ‘Roe’ Is Overturned
  • Dorothy Roberts Talks U.S. Family Policy with MSNBC's Ali Velshi