Why am I who I am? For millennia, man utilized the power of heredity to domesticate plants and breed animals. Heredity also ensured the succession to royal power. But what shaped me? Carl Zimmer, a Stephen Jay Gould prize-winning science writer, answers this intriguing question and much more in She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity (Dutton, Penguin Random House, 2018). Zimmer presents a fascinating survey of two centuries of heredity research. He does not overwhelm us with academic, mind-dulling detail. Instead, Zimmer presents a compelling history that reads like a novel, and in so doing, he provides clarity to a complex science. Using Zimmer’s book as our guide, this study group will discuss the steps and missteps in the development of this field, personal stories of people tragically harmed by misguided theories of heredity (eugenics), and the stories of the millions who have benefited from genetic understanding and screening. A science background is not required. Join us! No class on 10/09/19. Make-up class on 12/18/19.