ancestry testing

Author Libby Copeland on the Impact of Ancestry Testing

Libby Copeland is a prize-winning science journalist who has written for the Washington Post, New York Magazine, the NY Times Magazine and, the Atlantic, among others. Her new book, The Lost Family, looks at how the development of DNA databases for genealogy and ancestry testing have affected the lives of millions of Americans, creating and reorganizing and sometimes destroying families, while raising profound questions about the meaning of all manner of kinship networks: family, blood, tribe.

Libby spends a little Corona-free time with Laura to discuss what she learned from the people whose stories fill this book, and what new rules and norms are called for in an age of DNA transparency.

Kif Augustine-Adams

Kif Augustine-Adams is the Ivan Meitus Chair and a professor the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law whose work has focused on protecting immigrant women and children. A feminist and advocate with an interest in history, Kif was well aware of the threats that women face in the world, but she had no notion of the story of sexual violence and abuse that was hidden in her own DNA. Our 21st Century DNA databases did not create the harm, but merely revealed it and, Kif argues, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Shame and secrecy caused a great deal of damage; telling secrets may be the key to helping a next generation do better.

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