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NLM History Talks: Past

Genomics in Perspective

A lecture series presented by the National Library of Medicine

Program: May 2, 2006   May 9, 2006   May 16, 2006   June 6, 2006   June 13, 2006   June 20, 2006   Abstracts   Videos of the lectures

NLM is pleased to announce Genomics in Perspective, a lecture series that presents historical and social science perspectives on genomics to an audience of scientists, physicians, policy makers, and the general public.

Genomics can be a confusing issue to the public. For some, it promises a radical and abrupt transformation in medical practice; others suggest that the new genetics has not and will not revolutionize the way common diseases are identified or prevented. Some welcome genomics as ushering in a golden age of new and more effective treatments, better diagnostic interventions, and more powerful means of biological investigation through bioinformatics, genetic analysis, measurement of gene expression, and determination of gene function. Others caution against over-optimism, and point to the importance of culture, society and history to an understanding of the complexity of interaction between biology, genes, and environment. The lectures in this series explore some of these issues from historical and social science perspectives. Together they seek to stimulate discussion of the social, historical, and cultural meanings and uses of genomics; to help to put genomics in perspective.

Each event will feature

  • A lecture by a historian or social scientist
  • A response by a physician or scientist
  • A discussion period


Start time:   All lectures will start at 4.00 pm.
Location:   Lister Hill auditorium, Building 38A, NIH Campus (directions below).

Lecture:   45 minutes
Response:   5-10 minutes
Discussion:   30-45 minutes

dotMay 2, 2006: Genes, Railroads and Regulation: Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
Lecture: Professor Daniel Kevles, Yale University.
Response: Claire T. Driscoll, M.S., Director, Technology Transfer Office, National Human Genome Research Institute.

dotMay 9, 2006: Transdisciplinarity in SPORE Funded Brain Tumor Research at the University of California San Francisco
Lecture: Professor Dorothy Porter, University of California, San Francisco.
Response: Brian Kimes, Ph.D., former Director, Office of Centers, Training and Resources (OCTR), National Cancer Institute.

dotMay 16, 2006: Standing on the Biological Horizon
Lecture: Professor Rayna Rapp, New York University
Response: Sharon F. Terry, M.A., President and C.E.O., Genetic Alliance, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 404, Washington, D.C.

dotJune 6, 2006: Genes and Disease: The Rise of Genomic Medicine in the United States
Lecture: Professor Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania.
Response: Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Deputy Director, National Human Genome Research Institute.

dotJune 13, 2006: Depicting Pasts, Projecting Futures: Making Histories of the New Biology
Lecture: Professor Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University.
Response: Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director, Division of Intramural Research, National Human Genome Research Institute.

dotJune 20, 2006: The Molecular Reinscription of Race: New Technologies Re-Generating a Dead-End Debate
Lecture:Professor Troy Duster, New York University.
Response: Vivian Ota Wang, Ph.D., Program Director, Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program, National Human Genome Research Institute, and Senior Advisor, Office of Behavioral & Social Sciences Research, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

The Lister Hill Center (Building 38A), part of the National Library of Medicine, is located near the intersection of Center and Medlars Drives on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Genomics in Perspective will take place in the Lister Hill Auditorium, on the first floor. The auditorium is also accessible via subway; Metro's "Medical Center" station, on the Red Line, is a short walk from the building's entrance. For directions, security information and other visitor information, please consult the Library's Web site at

Click below for the full program, and abstracts.
Program and abstracts (PDF)

Last Reviewed: May 20, 2022