Dorothy E. Roberts, J.D.

Dorothy Roberts

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

361 McNeil Building


J.D., Harvard Law School, 1980
B.A. Yale College, 1977

Research Interests

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 100 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.

Selected Publications

“Misrepresenting Race—The Role of Medical Schools in Propagating Physician Bias,” New England Journal of Medicine 384:872-878 (2021) (with Christina Amutah, Kaliya Greenidge, Adjoa Mante, Michelle Munyikwa, Sanjna L. Surya, B.A., Eve Higginbotham, David S. Jones, Risa Lavizzo‑Mourey, Jennifer Tsai, Jaya Aysola).


“Abolish Race Correction,” Lancet 397: 17-18 (2021).


“Rationing, Racism and Justice: Advancing the Debate around ‘Colourblind’ COVID-19 Ventilator Allocation (with Harald Schmidt & Nwamaka D. Eneanya), Journal of Medical Ethics  Epub ahead of print doi:10.1136/ medethics-2020-106856 (2021)


“Race and the Enlightenment” in Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain, eds., 400 Souls (New World Press, 2021).


“The Community Impact of Racial Disproportionality: The Racial Geography of Child Welfare” in Alan Dettlaff, ed. Racial Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System 235 (Springer 2021)


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