Conferences & Symposia

The Past, Present, and Future of DNA

Science Symposium

The focus of this one-day science symposium is on the explosion of knowledge about past and present DNA, and includes discussions about possible directions and applications for future research. The event includes experts in ancient DNA, de-extinction, human origins, population genetics, forensic science, ethics, business, future synthetic life, and the personal genome.

This event is free and open to the public. 



9:30 a.m.


Lizabeth Cohen, Dean of the Radcliffe Institute and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard University


Janet Rich-Edwards, Codirector of the Science Program, Radcliffe Institute; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

10 a.m.

Mammoths, Neanderthals, and Your Ancestors

Moderator: George Church, Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

John Hawks, Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Beth Shapiro, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Spencer Wells, scientist, author, entrepreneur, and former explorer-in-residence and director of the Genographic Project at National Geographic

11:45 a.m.

Lunch and Poster Session

1 p.m.

Forensic DNA Investigation

Greg Hampikian, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Joint appointment in Department of Criminal Justice, Director of the Idaho Innocence Project, Boise State University

1:45 p.m.

The Ethical Frontier of DNA

Introducer: Danielle Allen, Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and Professor, Department of Government and Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Arthur Caplan, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics; Director, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, NYU School of Medicine

2:30 p.m.


2:45 p.m.

The Future Utility of DNA Science

Moderator: Christine Seidman, Thomas W. Smith Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Jacob Corn, Scientific Director, Innovative Genomics Initiative; Assistant Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Alison Murdoch, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Head of Department, Institute of Genetic Medicine, International Fertility Centre for Life, Newcastle University (United Kingdom)

Floyd Romesberg, Professor, Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute

4:15 p.m.

Closing remarks

Janet Rich-Edwards

4:30 p.m.

Reception and Poster Session