Author Archives: Matt Artz

Matt Artz is an anthropologist, artist, and activist who advocates for the responsible design of human-centered technologies. He is the Head of Product & Experience at Cloudshadow Consulting, the Founder and Principal Researcher at Azimuth Labs, and the Founder and Career Coach at Anthro to UX. His current business and design anthropology research focuses on the benefits and risks of consumer DNA testing. To learn more about his research, you can watch his TEDx Talk titled "Are DNA Tests Safe?". You can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify.
An image of DNA molecules

Consumer Genetics and the Capitalization of Hope

In the twilight of the last millennium, an audacious scientific project was started by an international team of researchers. Their objective, like the countless scientists who came before them, was to advance humanity. But unlike all of the proceeding projects, this effort would map out what it meant to be human. The project, known as the human genome project (HGP), had the seemingly impossible goal of describing every gene within the Homo sapiens genome and mapping all 3 billion base pairs. If completed, the applications were said to be limitless. From social science research to medicine, the innovation gatekeepers of the world said that our lives would change for the better. But who has benefited from the HGP? Surely all of humanity, right? But at what point, and will it be equitable? These are questions I wrestle with, though I didn’t always. (read more...)