Week Seven :: August 8–15

The Science of Us

In the midst of robust debates about tribalism, isolation and bridging differences, this wide-ranging week explores how 21st-century science is disrupting our social and historical understandings of how “us” happens and who “we” are — as communities, demographies, families, nations and a human race.

  • We look at America’s long narrative of folklore and our “melting pot” narrative. • We explore our obsession with — along with the limitations and repercussions of — genealogical/ancestry services.
  • What are the emerging scientific understandings of heritage and ethnicity?
  • How is science is informing community development and our socioeconomic models going forward?
10:45 a.m. Lectures

Morning Lectures

10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday, Amphitheater

Ideas and opinions are exchanged in an open, challenging atmosphere, and Chautauqua's knowledgeable audiences have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of the lectures.


  • Thursday, August 13, 2020 | 10:45am

    Spencer Wells

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    Spencer Wells is a geneticist, anthropologist, author and entrepreneur, who returns to Chautauqua to discuss the business and ethics of personal genetic information, and how that information is managed and used. 

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Friday, August 14, 2020 | 10:45am

    Flynn Coleman

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    Flynn Coleman is a writer, international human rights attorney, professor, and social innovator who has worked with the United Nations, the United States federal government, and international corporations and human rights organizations around the world.

    Location: Amphitheater