Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Question of Culture - British Academy panel discussion [March 2005]

The British Academy has made available audio of the full 1h56 of this panel discussion (hosted by Queen's University, Belfast) between Professor Adam Kuper, FBA, Brunel University, Professor Fred Halliday, FBA, London School of Economics, and Professor Jytte Klausen, Brandeis University, USA. Culture seems to explain everything at the moment, the way gender once did, or, before that, class, or, a long time ago, race, or, even longer ago, destiny. A decade ago, Samuel Huntington warned that, in future, 'The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural.' According to one commentator after another, celebratory or indignant, every European country is multicultural. Is immigration policy a matter of dealing with cultural difference? Today, these debates are at their most acute as European countries shape policies on 'Muslim' minorities, and confront the intricate crises of the Middle East, and the challenge of terrorism. Link

Personal Genome weblog

I'm obviously a bit slow on the uptake, but I tripped over the clear, unfussy Personal Genome ("Genomics as a medical tool and a lifestyle choice") today. Apart from the massively comprehensive set of links - see his sidebar for a huge range of resources - it's an engaging mix of the personal and the technical. His latest post sees him get his Genographic Project results back. Link

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ellis Island Portraits, Augustus F Sherman

Last week the Sunday Telegraph picked up on Augustus F Sherman's portraits of arrivals at Ellis Island, and paired them with four Ellis Island Stories from Peter Morton Coan's Ellis Island Interviews. The portraits will form the centrepiece of an exhibition in New York this summer, and in 2007, in Liverpool. PBS collates links to Ellis Island resources here, further images can be found here, here and, yes, here, and it's possible to search passenger records of the more than 20 million who passed through Ellis Island here. And a reminder of a different kind of immigration policy. Link [to Vanity Fair's slideshow of the same portraits]

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ashkenazic genetic diseases and intelligence [3quarksdaily, Futurepundit, NYT, Economist]

The incomparable 3quarksdaily highlights [along with the The Economist, FuturePundit, and The NYT] a recent story provoking considerable debate. A new University of Utah study [pdf] links Ashkenazic genetic diseases and enhanced intelligence.
As to how the disease mutations might affect intelligence, the Utah researchers cite evidence that the sphingolipid [my link] disorders promote the growth and interconnection of brain cells. Mutations in the DNA repair genes, involved in second cluster of Ashkenazic diseases, may also unleash growth of neurons.

Site Meter