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THE EVOLUTION OF EVOLUTION: Are We the Masters of Our Fate?

Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

It’s a profound question facing modern humans: Are we still subject to natural selection? After hundreds of years of scientific progress, many of the pressures that control evolution—predators and disease—are decreasing. At the same time, technology capable of engineering the genome is in our hands. Are we undergoing a new form of evolution in which artificial changes are faster and more radical than those produced by the natural world? Should we control our own genetic material? Where will these changes lead us? Renowned geneticists, paleoanthropologists, and biologists consider our genetic future as evolution evolves.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

Moderator

John HockenberryJournalist

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. Hockenberry is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI.

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Participants

Hank GreelyLaw Professor

Henry T. (Hank) Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University. Greely graduated from Stanford and Yale Law School. He was a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the Fifth Circuit and Justice Potter Stewart on the Supreme Court.

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Sam SternbergBiochemist

Samuel H. Sternberg, Ph.D., received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. His doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jennifer Doudna focused on bacterial immune systems know as CRISPR–Cas and their development for genome engineering applications.

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Ian TattersallAnthropologist

Ian Tattersall is a prominent anthropologist whose work focuses on the evolution of humans and other primates. He is a curator emeritus for the division of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the City University of New York.

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Sarah TishkoffGeneticist

Sarah Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, holding appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences. She studies genomic and phenotypic variation in ethnically diverse Africans.

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Location