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2nd & 3rd Congress: Part I, Panel 1

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Panel 1 | “How we remember: what happened at the Second Congress, and its core themes”
Renowned American Museum of Natural History curator Rob DeSalle, is joined by historian and author of ‘The Guarded Gate’, Dan Okrent, and public health scientist and historian, Mike Yudell. Together they unpack what exactly took place at the Second Congress, its four core themes and aims, and its degree of success in achieving these aims.


  • Daniel Okrent

    Daniel Okrent is the prize-winning author of six books. Before The Guarded Gate, he published Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (2011), which was cited by the American Historical Association as the year’s best book on American history. Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history. Among his many jobs in publishing, he was corporate editor-at-large at Time Inc., and was the first public editor of the New York Times. Okrent served on the board of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for 12 years, including a four-year term (2003-2007) as chairman, and remains a board member of the Skyscraper Museum and the Authors Guild.
  • Dr. Rob Desalle

    I am a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in the Comparative genomics institute.

  • Mike Yuddell

    Michael Yudell is public health ethicist and award-winning historian whose work focuses on the history and ethics of genomics, the history of the race concept, and the history and ethics of autism research. During graduate school, Michael was also a Graduate Researcher in the Molecular Biology Laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History and a Health Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Yudell is the author of Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the 20th Century (Columbia University Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Arthur J. Viseltear Award from the American Public Health Association. The book examines the way biologists shaped the race concept during the 20th century from eugenics to the sequencing of the human genome. Yudell is the author of several books with the geneticist Rob DeSalle, including Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to the Genetic Past, Present, and Future (John Wiley and Sons, 2005 and 2020) and the edited collection The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life (Joseph Henry Press of the National Academy of Science, 2002). Along with Dr. Samuel K. Roberts, Yudell edits the Columbia University Press Series Race, Inequality, and Health. Yudell conducts research on autism and ethics, including currently a National Science Foundation project examining the ethics of community-engaged autism research