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Recorded interviews with human and medical geneticists

Harper, Peter 2017. Recorded interviews with human and medical geneticists. Human Genetics 136 (2) , pp. 149-164. 10.1007/s00439-016-1744-9

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A series of 100 recorded interviews with human and medical geneticists has been carried out and some general results are reported here. Twenty countries across the world are represented, mostly European, with a particular emphasis on the United Kingdom. A priority was given to older workers, many of whom were key founders of human genetics in their own countries and areas of work, and over 20 of whom are now no longer living. The interviews also give valuable information on the previous generation of workers, as teachers and mentors of the interviewees, thus extending the coverage of human genetics back to the 1930s or even earlier. A number of prominent themes emerge from the interview series; notably the beginnings of human cytogenetics from the late 1950s, the development of medical genetics research and its clinical applications in the 1960s and 1970s, and more recently the beginnings and rapid growth of human molecular genetics. The interviews provide vivid personal portraits of those involved, and also show the effects of social and political issues, notably those arising from World War 2 and its aftermath, which affected not only the individuals involved but also broader developments in human genetics, such as research related to risks of irradiation. While this series has made a start in the oral history of this important field, extension and further development of the work is urgently needed to give a fuller picture of how human genetics has developed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 03406717
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 27 October 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:39

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