In this program, Libby Copeland discusses the extraordinary cultural phenomenon of home DNA testing, implications for how we think about family and ourselves, and its ramifications for American culture broadly. It draws on Libby Copeland’s years of research for her book The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are (Abrams, 2020), which The Wall Street Journal calls “a fascinating account of lives dramatically affected by genetic sleuthing.” The New York Times writes, “Before You Spit in That Vial, Read This Book.” The Washington Post says The Lost Family “reads like an Agatha Christie mystery” and “wrestles with some of the biggest questions in life: Who are we? What is family? Are we defined by nature, nurture or both?” With more than 35 million people having been tested, a tipping point has been reached. Virtually all Americans are affected whether they have been tested or not, and millions have been impacted by significant revelations in their immediate families.
The webinar, recorded on February 23, 2021, is a conversation between Libby and Alexa Rome, who graduated with a BS in Anthropology and Human Biology from Emory University. Alexa has research interests in ancient DNA and is currently an intern at the Ridgefield Historical Society.
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Libby Copeland is an award-winning journalist and author, who writes from New York about culture, science, and human behavior. As a freelance journalist, she writes for such media outlets as The Atlantic, Slate, New York, Smithsonian, The New York Times, The New Republic, Esquire.com, and The Wall Street Journal. Her book, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are, was published in March by Abrams Press.
Special thanks to our co-sponsor Books on the Common. Copies of Libby’s book will be available at the bookstore at 404 Main Street, Ridgefield.