This proposal requests two years of funding to support a conference entitled Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences (IGSS) to be held at the University of Colorado at Boulder during the summers of 2011 and 2012. This two day conference will showcase new empirical work on gene-environment interplay among social scientists and will strive to define the contours of this new and exciting area. The 2010 conference has received funding from the Population Association of America, the NICHD funded University of Colorado Population Center (CUPC), and the department of sociology at the University of Colorado. The purpose of this proposal is to request funds to continue this conference for an additional two years. We have secured support from the Institute of Behavioral Science, the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, the CU Population Center, and the Department of Sociology for the continuation of this conference for an additional two years. This conference will build upon a previous short course at the CUPC and it will have the explicit goal of publishing the findings that are presented. The journal Biodemography and Social Biology has agreed to publish a selection of the papers from the 2010 conference in a special issue dedicated to gene-environment issues within demographic research and we anticipate a similar structure in 2011 and 2012. The goals of this proposal are: (1) to provide a venue for the leaders in the area of gene-environment interplay to share their theoretical, methodological, and substantive knowledge with one another;(2) to produce new and interdisciplinary publications in the area of gene-environment interplay;and (3) to identify new issues that are, to date, understudied in this area.
The conference has a substantive focus on health, health behaviors, morbidity, and mortality. This conference will bridge genetic and social epidemiology to provide new insights into long standing public health issues. We anticipate a section of the conference to be dedicated to the policy implications of this work.