Siddhartha Mukherjee

discusses

The Gene:
An Intimate History

in conversation with HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

This event includes a book signing

Date

May
18
Wednesday
May 18, 2016
6:00 PM
(Doors at 5:30)

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies SIDDARTHA MUKHERJEE and renowned Harvard professor and author HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. for a discussion of Mukherjee's latest book, The Gene: An Intimate History—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

About The Gene

The extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion. . . . An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

Praise

"This is perhaps the greatest detective story ever told—a millennia-long search, led by a thousand explorers, from Aristotle to Mendel to Francis Collins, for the question marks at the center of every living cell. Like The Emperor of All Maladies, The Gene is prodigious, sweeping, and ultimately transcendent. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, today and in the tomorrows to come, you must read this book." —Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

"Mukherjee deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown. He offers insight into both the scientific process and the sociology of science. . . . By relating familial information, Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative." —Publishers Weekly

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and founding Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has authored or co-authored twenty-one books and created fifteen documentary films.

Photo credit: Peter Simon

Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. An assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School.

Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

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