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Oral History Collection

Current and Former NHGRI Directors - Part I

In 2014 and 2015, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) filmed a panel discussion with former directors James Watson, Ph.D. and Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and current director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. This invaluable footage animates the roots and growth of NHGRI, as well as the Human Genome Project, from the perspectives of three key figures. Part I of this footage features all three directors discussing the early days of the institute, from the appointments of Drs. Watson and Collins, to the Human Genome Project. James Watson was the first NHGRI Director and appears here as part of our history collection. Despite his scientific achievements, Dr. Watson’s career was also punctuated by a number of offensive and scientifically erroneous comments about his beliefs on race, nationalities, homosexuality, gender, and other societal topics. Dr. Watson’s opinions on these topics are unsupported by science and are counter to the mission and values of NHGRI.