DNA Dreams at Harvard

Written by: Stephen Hsu

Primary Source: Information Processing

This is a panel discussion of the documentary film DNA Dreams (see below), about BGI and its Cognitive Genomics Lab.


Moderator: Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, Director of the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research/Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science

Panelists include: (L to R)
1. George Church, Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
2. Bregjte van der Haak, Filmmaker
3. Arthur Kleinman, Director of the Harvard University Asia Center and Professor of Anthropology and Medical Anthropology at Harvard University
4. Peter Galison, Pellegrino University Professor, Director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University

Peter Galison is dismissive of “single parameter” measures of cognitive ability. Certainly anyone who has thought seriously about IQ or g knows that it is only a crude measure of (compressed approximation to) a multi-dimensional set of mental abilities. George Church replies quite effectively. I wonder how Peter would react to learning that his grandchild would be born with a mutation depressing the meaningless “single parameter” in question to an SD below normal. Would he just shrug it off as unimportant?

I believe this is the entire documentary:

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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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