May 1, 2013
Kevin Davies : On DNA Day, April 25, a parade of leading genome scientists gathered at NIH to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP). NIH assembled an outstanding list of speakers, including NIH Director Francis Collins, ENCODE project leader Ewan Birney, Princeton geneticist David Botstein, cancer geneticist Levi Garraway and experts in evolutionary and population genetics and healthcare.
I was honored (and a little petrified) to be included in the line-up. After all, my most significant contribution to biomedical research was hanging up my lab coat 25 years ago to seek refuge in the cramped, dilapidated offices of Nature magazine in London.
I was asked to speak on public perceptions of the HGP and the inexorable march of sequencing technology towards the $1,000 genome. Preparations did not go smoothly: despite the lack of coffee (a victim of the sequester), I managed to procure a cup, only to spill the contents down my jacket mid-morning. Hopefully it's not evindent in the video…
The talk was enjoyable (for me anyway): Along the way, I worked in a plug for the new film Decoding Annie Parker, on which I served as a genetics consultant; showed off a little Welsh; and had a little fun at the expense of current NIH Director, whose next book almost certainly will not be entitled The Language of Love – or 46 Shades of Grey - for that matter.
The video of my talk is below and is below and the entire set of event videos can be viewed at the NHGRI Genome TV channel.