Genome: Unlocking Life's Code
Public Education Programs and Events
To complement the exhibition "Genome: Unlocking Life's Code," the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Museum of Natural History, and The Smithsonian Associates have partnered to develop a series of nine educational programs, including lectures, symposia, discussion panels and informal gatherings.
The programs will be offered to the public from September 2013 to July 2014 and are designed to spark lively conversations among the public and genomics leaders, scientists, scholars, and the arts community about relevant and timely subjects in the genomics field.
All events are ticketed. Tickets may be obtained from The Smithsonian Associates. Please visit http://unlockinglifescode.org/connections/events.
Programming is made possible thanks to generous grants and gifts made through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
Programs and Events
Q?rius Presentation: The Dog Genome: Shedding Light on Human Disease (March 15, 2014)
Dogs have been called a person's best friend, but they also can tell us a lot about human disease. Dr. Elaine Ostrander joins us in discussing how her lab at the National Human Genome Research Institute studies the genes of canines (dogs) in order to better understand human diseases, such as cancer.
Finding our Inner Neanderthal: Evolutionary Geneticist Svante Pääbo's DNA Quest (March 25, 2014)
Can the DNA of extinct humans provide a clue to our origins? Noted researcher Svante Pääbo discusses a groundbreaking investigation that led to new genetic and geographic connections between Homo sapiens and our ancient ancestors.
The Drama of DNA: Genomics on Stage (April 10, 2014)
Four playwrights examine how they transformed some fascinating and complex topics rooted in genetics into compelling theater. Staged readings of scenes from the authors' plays complement the discussion.
Citizen Science, Social Media, and Research (Date TBA)
Leaders in the consumer-based field of genetics testing will engage in discussions about how the public is using this new, publicly available technology to participate in biomedical research and obtain personal health information.
Genomics: Ethical? Legal? Socially Responsible? (Date TBA)
This lively debate features two panelists arguing the pros and cons of a controversial topic in genomics. The audience has an opportunity to discuss the issue in small groups, pose questions to the debaters, and collectively vote on the most persuasive argument.
Decoding Our Past (Date TBA)
How has decoding the genomes of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo sapiens revealed new information about our past? In this lecture, a leading evolutionary geneticist will explore the evolution of Homo sapiens on the African continent and other regions during the past 200,000 years.
Mingle Genomes at the Museum (Date TBA)
Connect with genomic science--and drinks and music--in this evening breaking genetic code! During this activities-filled event you might build your own genome avatar and send it on adventures to track, for example, how it reacts to the environment; determine if you are a "supertaster"; learn how glowing green fluorescent protein is used to trace the spread of pathogens; identify one of your genetic traits (a widow's peak, dimples, etc.); or become an instant expert on one fun fact about genome research.
Raise a Glass to Genomics and Wine (Date TBA)
Drink in the history of viticulture through a genomics lens. Learn how the art of making wine is rapidly changing to the science of making wine. A wine tasting accompanies the program.
Q?rius Presentation: Know Your Family History - Improve Your Health (February 8, 2014)
A demonstration of how your ancestry, family culture, and lifestyle choices can influence your future health. Learn how to use one of the most powerful genetic tools, your family health history, to identify specific ways to stay healthy. Let us dispel common myths about genetics and inheritance, and learn how to recognize what information matters. Leave knowing how to get the information, services, and resource tools you need to assess your risks and take charge of your health.
Is Genetic Information Different? (February 6, 2014)
New and often-complex ethical and medical questions have emerged as genetic testing becomes more widespread. Two debaters with extensive experience in genetics and genomics - Robert C. Green and Susan M. Wolf - address the issues in a lively event in which the audience plays a key role. NHGRI Director Eric Green moderates.
Genomics, Hollywood Style (January 29, 2014)
Scientific breakthroughs in genomics have been featured prominently in popular television shows and movies such as CSI, Jurassic Park, and Gattaca, just to name a few. A genome expert explores the difference between fact and Hollywood fiction in this entertaining program. Clips from various films and TV programs are followed by explanations of the "real" science behind the make-believe.
Real-Life Genome Stories (November 21, 2013)
Doris Zallen will facilitate conversations among small discussion groups using genome sequencing and its expression in real-world scenarios that revolve around health and ancestry. Dr. Zallen is a professor in the Department of Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is the author of Does It Run in the Family: A Consumer's Guide to DNA Testing for Genetic Disorders and To Test or Not to Test: A Guide to Genetic Screening and Risk.
The Genomic Journey: Searching for Your Roots (September 12, 2013)
This program, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), provides an opportunity to see and discuss how genetic testing is used to analyze and understand an individual's ancestral history. The event features Henry Louis Gates Jr., who will reveal the ancestry of Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the NMAAHC and Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator of Washington Week and a senior correspondent for PBS's NewsHour. After the ancestral reveal, a panel discusses the promise and limitations of genomic research and ancestral inference genetic testing.
- Read the press release: Henry Louis Gates Jr., Host of PBS Series Finding Your Roots, To Appear at Smithsonian Event
Last Updated: February 21, 2014