Thursday, December 13, 2012

Your genome is showing.

Thanks to my university's support of my new anthropology teaching initiative--using 23andMe as part of the curriculum--and thanks to its visibility here at The Mermaid's Tale, I was asked to speak about the experience at the California Academy of Sciences last month.

Because it was all arranged and sponsored by the Leakey Foundation, I tailored it for an audience interested in human origins and human evolution, which felt natural considering that's me.

Because I was slotted to speak while "NightLife" was also going on, I thought an album cover art-themed slideshow, something I've long wanted to do (thank you King Crimson), would be appropriate.
"Aaah! You mean 23andMe can tell all that from just my spit?"
The film of the talk is up at, here at this link.

While I was in San Francisco I had two wonderful opportunities to visit schools, one high school and one middle school. At the high school I got to sit down for an hour and talk genetics with an evolution and genetics course! And at both schools I gave a presentation called "Your evolutionary history is showing," part of which included a little about how science is part of everyday life, like when you want to figure out which dog ate Kevin's book.

For the Cal Academy talk, I considered posting my transcript here, but I think I'll just post my gratitude.

The California Academy of Sciences
The Leakey Foundation
Students in my APG 350 and APG 201 courses
The University of Rhode Island Provost’s Office
All the artists who created these album covers.
Anne Buchanan - Penn State University
Ken Weiss - Penn State University
Jennifer Wagner -  University of Pennsylvania
Ellen Quillen -  Texas Biomedical Institute
Misha Angrist -  Duke University
Niall Howlett -  University of Rhode Island
Abigail Bigham -  University of Michigan
Chanika Phornphutkul -  Brown University
Lorraine Santy - Penn State University
Juliet Dunsworth – Oviedo, FL
Kevin Stacey - Peace Dale, RI
Marisa Nelson & Mark Ackerly - 23andMe*

*I am not paid by 23andMe.  I use 23andMe at the educational rate to teach anthropology.

Careful what you ask that gene.

One last thing. Please check out my students' reflections on their experience with 23andMe and with learning biological anthropology this semester at URI at their blog "human variation style" ...

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