Genes, Schools, and Interventions That Address Educational Inequality: Can the Science of Treatment-Effect Heterogeneity Unite Diverse Perspectives?

December 13-14, 2018, Austin, TX

This conference will bring together experts in genetics, economics, sociology, psychology, and education, in order to advance an integration of research on the genetics of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, structural determinants of educational inequality, and the effects of large-scale educational interventions. Critical questions at the interface of these rapidly-developing fields include:

  • What, if anything, do results from genetic research and sociological research imply about the effectiveness of educational interventions?
  • How can intervention designs be used to test hypotheses about the mechanisms linking genotypes with complex human phenotypes, including gene-by-environment interaction hypotheses?
  • How can intervention designs be used to test hypotheses about who is advantaged or disadvantaged by school structures?
  • How can discoveries about mechanisms of genetic effects be used to identify intervention targets in diverse school settings?
  • How can integrating genetic data (e.g., measured genotypes, genetically-related samples) into intervention studies improve estimates of overall effects and advance understanding of heterogeneity of treatment effects?

The goal of the conference will be to develop a White Paper with methodological recommendations for how intervention research could integrate genetic and sociological data, and how genetic or population-based studies could integrate light-touch experimental interventions.



  • David Yeager, University of Texas, Austin
  • Paige Harden, University of Texas, Austin



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