Nicholas Wade interview: A Troublesome Inheritance

Written by: Stephen Hsu

Primary Source: Information Processing

Leonard Lopate interviews Nicholas Wade (veteran genetics correspondent for the NYTimes) about his new book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. The interview is slow at first but the second half is good.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. My initial impressions:

1. The first part of the book covers well-established science concerning the genetic clustering of human populations. Some of the results will be surprising to those who have not followed the last 10 years of progress in genomics. See, e.g., here and here for my thoughts on this subject.

2. The second part of the book covers controversial topics such as genetic group differences in behavioral and cognitive predispositions. Wade is mostly careful to present these as speculative hypotheses, but nevertheless his advocacy leaves him vulnerable to easy attack.

It will be interesting to see how this book, by a prominent science writer (indeed, the chief genetics correspondent for the paper of record), is received by the intelligentsia, the punditocracy, and actual scientists.

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Stephen Hsu
Stephen Hsu is vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University. He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute) and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab. Hsu’s primary work has been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems in quantum chromodynamics, dark energy, black holes, entropy bounds, and particle physics beyond the standard model. He has also made contributions to genomics and bioinformatics, the theory of modern finance, and in encryption and information security. Founder of two Silicon Valley companies—SafeWeb, a pioneer in SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Networks) appliances, which was acquired by Symantec in 2003, and Robot Genius Inc., which developed anti-malware technologies—Hsu has given invited research seminars and colloquia at leading research universities and laboratories around the world.
Stephen Hsu

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