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David Botstein, 2003-05-28

 Item — Multiple Containers
Oral History | David Botstein
Oral History | David Botstein

Scope and Contents

David Botstein, prominent geneticist and key player in laying the groundwork for the Human Genome Project, is interviewed by Mila Pollock, Jan Witkowski, and Kiryn Haslinger on May 28, 2003, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. David Botstein's interview discusses the following: Scene 1. Becoming a scientist -- Scene 2. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 3. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: past and present -- Scene 4. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory courses -- Scene 5. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia -- Scene 6. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory memories -- Scene 7. Teaching -- Scene 8. Jim Watson, writer -- Scene 9. Involvement in genomics -- Scene 10. Conception of the Human Genome Project: mapping development -- Scene 11. 1986 Cold Spring Harbor Symposium: The molecular biology of Homo Sapiens -- Scene 12. Opposition to the Human Genome Project -- Scene 13. Infrastructure of the Human Genome Project -- Scene 14. Surprises in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 15. Scientific publishing and the Human Genome Project -- Scene 16. Scientific secrecy -- Scene 17. Dangers of genomic research -- Scene 18. Government regulation of science -- Scene 19. Gene patenting -- Scene 20. Gene patenting: Genetic Technologies Limited (GTG) patents all non-coding DNA -- Scene 21. Genomics and racial differences -- Scene 22. The future of genomics.


  • Creation: 2003-05-28


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

David Botstein is a prominent geneticist whose advocacy for gene mapping was crucial in laying the groundwork for the Human Genome Project. Botstein received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan for his research on bacteriophage synthesis. As a member of the MIT faculty he continued working with phage P22 DNA and discovered many bacterial and yeast genes. He served as Vice President of Science at Genentech before becoming professor at the Stanford School of Medicine where he led in sequencing the first large eucaryotic genome. On July 1, 2003 he was appointed as Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University and continued in that position until 2013. He is currently an Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics at Princeton University and the chief scientific officer at Calico. At Princeton he will continue to expound upon genome projects, explore the relationship between genes within the genome, and uncover how diseases like cancer alter the expression of genes. Botstein researched at the CSHL while on sabbatical from 1974-1975. At the 1986 CSHL symposium on Human Genetics he played a crucial role in advocating for the Human Genome Project. While serving on the National Research Council Committee he emphasized that money be laid aside to fund the sequencing of other simpler organisms with which the human genome can be compared. Like Jim Watson, he has passionately supported the Human Genome Project since its inception.


1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with David Botstein) : DVD ; 50 min.

1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : Hi-8 - CSHL1219

1 Cassettes (Duplicate copy) : MiniDV - CSHL1022

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Interview recorded on Hi-8 and Mini DV, then transferred to DVD.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA