5

Genetic Genealogy on 60 Minutes

60minutes.jpg

Did you catch the genetic genealogy segment on 60 Minutes last night? I was not able to watch it, unfortunately, but I’ve been following some online reactions. For instance, at Megan’s Roots World (written when the segment was being made), Anglo-Celtic Connections and DNA for Everyone. There’s a great discussion at the DNA-NEWBIE Yahoo Group, and at the GENEALOGY-DNA Rootsweb list.

For those who missed the segment last night, HERE is the full report, with a video and transcript. Note that the journalists interviewed Hank Greely, a law professor at Stanford who I’ve mentioned here before, and who has a great chapter in an upcoming book – Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age, (forthcoming) edited by Barbara Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, and Sarah Richardson. Rutgers University Press, 2007.

It appears that while the journalists did a fair job of presenting a balanced report, the overall feel was that genetic genealogy is being oversold. That message isn’t new or revolutionary – in fact, many in the field have been saying this for a while. Megan Smolenyak wrote a fantastic article about this very subject about a year ago – “Honoring Our Ancestors: Is Genetic Genealogy Being Oversold?

If you saw the segment, please leave your thoughts below.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007