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Race, Genomics, and the Specter of Eugenics on Medicine Today

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A round table conversation that explores the complex relationship between between race, ancestry, genomics, and health, featuring genomics and health researcher Charles Rotimi and historian of science Evelynn Hammonds, moderated by AMNH curator Rob DeSalle.


  • Dr. Charles Rotimi

    Charles Rotimi, a genetic epidemiologist, is an NIH Distinguished Investigator. He is a leader in exploring the implications of the increased genetic diversity in African ancestry populations for disease gene mapping. Rotimi is especially proud of his efforts at globalizing genomics. Rotimi was the founding president of the now thriving African Society of Human Genetics. Rotimi is a member of three global academies – the US National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the African Academy of Sciences. He is 2020 president-elect for the American Society of Human Genetics.
  • Dr. Evelynn Hammonds

    Professor Evelynn M. Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies. She has been on the Harvard faculty for 19 years where she currently serves as chair of the Department of the History of Science. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. She has an undergraduate degree in physics from Spelman College and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. She earned the S.M. in Physics from MIT. She also taught at MIT for 10 years in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Her research focuses on the history of scientific, medical and socio-political concepts of race and gender in the United States. At Harvard she currently serves on the university-wide committee to examine Harvard’s relationship to slavery; the Faculty Executive Committee of the Peabody Museum and she chairs the Steering Committee on Human Remains in the Harvard Museum Collections. She also works on projects to improve the representation of men and women of color in STEM fields. She is a member of the Committee on Women In Science, Technology, and Medicine (CWSEM) of the National Academy of Sciences. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.
  • Dr. Rob Desalle

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