Newswise — BETHESDA, MD – The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and Executive Producer Rochelle Easton Esposito, PhD, are pleased to announce that Conversations in Genetics, an oral history of our intellectual heritage in genetics, is now available for free online viewing at

Conversations in Genetics offers in depth video interviews of prominent geneticists who made seminal contributions to the field, conducted by prominent research colleagues. These interviews serve to preserve the history of the field for future generations, enrich the education of scholars of genetics on how important concepts originated, and promote full integration and use of our historical heritage to advance current work. The videos were previously only available as DVDs.

"The Conversations in Genetics project provides a unique opportunity to learn about the development of critical ideas and insights in modern genetics by speaking directly with the scientific pioneers who originated them," said Esposito, a former GSA president who initiated the project in 1997 and has continued to serve as Executive Producer and Scientific Editor. (See "Conversation in Genetics," The Scientist, for additional background.)

The following interviews are currently available online:

Volume 1


Leland Hartwell Francois Jacob Edward Lewis Arno Motulsky Evelyn Witkin
Leland Hartwell
by Rochelle Esposito

Cell Cycle Control in Yeast
Francois Jacob
by Lucille Shapiro

The Central Dogma
Gene Regulation
Edward Lewis
by Elliot Meyerowitz

Drosophila Development
Arno Motulsky
by Mary-Claire King

Human Disease
Evelyn Witkin
by Carol Gross

DNA Repair

 Volume 2


Seymour Benzer James Crow Ira Herskowitz Daniel Lindsley Janet Rowley
Seymour Benzer
by David Anderson

Gene Structure
Behavioral Genetics
James Crow
by Daniel Hartl

Mutation, Selection,
Genetic Drift
Ira Herskowitz
by Jasper Rine

Lambda and
Yeast Gene Regulation
Daniel Lindsley
by Scott Hawley

Chromosome Mechanics
Janet Rowley
by Alfred Knudson

Cancer Genetics

 Volume 3


Elizabeth Blackburn Sydney Brenner Victor McKusisk Ray Owen Charles Yanofsky
Elizabeth Blackburn
by Joseph Gall

Telomeres, Cancer, Aging
Sydney Brenner
by Barbara Meyer

Genetic Code
Worm Development
Victor McKusick
by Judith Hall

Human Genetics
Ray Owen
by James Crow

Stem Cells, Immunogenetics
Charles Yanofsky
by David Botstein

Colinearity, Suppression

 Volume 4


Paul Berg Walter Gehring Dale Kaiser Piotr Slonimski  
Paul Berg
by Charles Yanofsky

RNA/Protein Synthesis
Recombinant DNA
Walter Gehring
by Debra Wolgemuth

Homeobox and Eye Development
Dale Kaiser
by Ronald Davis

Lambda and
Myxococcus Development
Piotr Slonimski
by Giuseppi Attardi

Mitochondrial Genetics

Several additional conversations are currently in production:

  • Luca Cavalli-Sforza, interviewed by Marc Feldman
  • Norman Horowitz, interviewed by Ray Owen
  • Mary-Claire King, interviewed by Evan Eichler
  • Elliot Meyerowitz, interviewed by Daphne Preuss

The GSA provided financial support for the project for its first ten years, with additional contributions from the American Society of Human Genetics. The project is presently supported independently by private donations.

Online streaming of the videos has been provided by Dean Flanders of the Friedrich Miescher Institute and Swiss National Grid Association (SwiNG), Basel, Switzerland.

Tax-deductible donations may be made to GSA or SwiNG to support continuation of the project; see for additional information.


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About the Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit


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