Oedipus Rex in the Genomic Era
Online Lecture (Zoom) by Prof. Yulia Kovas, Goldsmiths, University of London.
This talk will introduce recent advances in genetic science and explore what these advances mean for every one of us. These advances enable us to sequence (“read”) one’s DNA fast and inexpensively; use DNA information for diagnosis and treatment; predict some future occurrences in our lives; and edit the genome. DNA governs every cell of our body, contributes to every action we take, every thought and every experience we have. DNA holds stories of our past, present and future. Taking Sophocles as a guide, we will take a journey into the Genomic Era and explore what the latest genomic insights mean for the ancient themes of Sophocles’ tragedies: free will, fate, and chance; prediction; misinterpretation of information; the burden that comes with knowledge of the future; self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecies; the forces that contribute to similarities and differences among people; roots and lineage; and the judgement of oneself and others. We will examine great benefits introduced by the genetic advances, but also existential, social, ethical, and legal concerns and dilemmas facing us in the genomic era.
About Yulia Kovas
Yulia Kovas is Professor of Genetics and Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she directs InLab – International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning. She leads several research projects aimed to provide new insights into child development and education. The studies use different methodologies, including twin studies; experimental psychology; neuroscience; cross-cultural comparisons; and longitudinal approaches where the same families participate for many years. Professor Kovas teaches at several international universities and is also a co-founder of TAGC – the Accessible Genetics Consortium that aims to promote greater knowledge and beneficial use of aetiological information. She has been Chair of Psychology Ethics Committee since 2011; and is Chair of Psychology Research Committee – at Goldsmiths. Yulia is the author of more than 180 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and edited volumes. She is a co-author with Fatos Selita of Oedipus Rex in the Genomic Era: Human Behaviour, Law, and Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
The lecture will take place on Zoom. Click here to register.