Genetics and Genealogy Working Group
Co-Directors: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelynn M. Hammonds
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Professor Evelynn M. Hammonds convened the New Genetics and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Working Group for the first time in January 2006. In 2009, the group’s name was changed to the Genetics and Genealogy Working Group, to encompass more fully the broad reach of the group, composed of the nation’s top scientists, social scientists, and historians working in this field. The group’s chief aim is to advance research in genetics and genealogy and to use historical and social contexts to bring this research most effectively to a wide audience. Several members of the working group, including Misha Angrist (Duke University), Catherine Bliss (San Francisco State University), David Eltis (Emory University), Bert Ely (University of South Carolina), Joseph Graves (North Carolina A & T), Nina Jablonski (Pennsylvania State University), Rick Kittles (University of Illinois-Chicago), and Mark Shriver (Pennsylvania State University), convened in June 2012 at NESCent in Durham, North Carolina, to take the initial steps in designing a middle and high school curriculum to make genetics and genealogy more accessible and interesting to young people, especially minority students who as a group are less likely to pursue the STEM fields in their education or professionally.
A major collaboration is in development between the Hutchins Center’s Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine, directed by Professor Hammonds, and Howard University’s W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, directed by Dr. Fatimah Jackson, involving the genetic analysis of four centuries of African and African American materials.