Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dorothy Roberts (Chicago, USA) ana lyzed the legality of using racial and ethnic categories in research. She acknowledged a number of requirements and incentives to use racial categories in research, including Directive 15, the US National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 and rules from the Food and Drug Administration. She also suggested a role for law in constraining the use of such categories, to disapprove a biological definition of race but to further research on health disparities. Under the US Constitution, for example, race is a suspect category, and courts carefully scrutinize its use by federal and state governments. Applying this approach to biomedical research would require that any use of racial categories should further a compelling state interest and be narrowly tailored to accomplish that goal.