Book Club Discussion: ‘Genome’ with Kim Kleinman Nov. 12

| November 6, 2013

Genome probes scientific, philosophical and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome.

Webster University Library will host a special book club discussion Tuesday, Nov. 12, at noon, joined by the Beginning to Commence First Year Seminar class.

Professor Kim Kleinman, assistant director of Academic Advising and science historian, will lead the discussion of Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley.

Among the questions Kleinman will explore:
  • What does it mean to say that some quality has a genetic basis?  How is it different to say that that quality has a biological basis?
  • How do genes shape organisms? How do organisms shape genes? What are some examples of how the environment shape organisms and their genes?
  • In other words, how does the nature/nurture debate look in light of the Human Genome Project?
Everyone is welcome to attend. Please feel free to forward your thoughts and questions on this topic to Holly Hubenschmidt at
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“Arguably the most significant scientific discovery of the new century, the mapping of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that make up the human genome raises almost as many questions as it answers. Questions that will profoundly impact the way we think about disease, about longevity, and about free will. Questions that will affect the rest of your life.
Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington’s disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.”

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