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Eric Lander, 2003-06-03

 Item — Multiple Containers
Oral History - Eric Lander
Oral History - Eric Lander

Scope and Contents

Eric Lander, a principal leader of the Human Genome Project, is interviewed by Mila Pollock and Kiryn Haslinger on June 3, 2003, at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Carnegie Library, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Eric Lander talks about the Human Genome Project, in particular the 1986 Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on the Molecular Biology of Homo Sapiens, and the competition between public and private efforts to sequence the human genome established by Craig Venter and Celera Genomics. He talks about opposition to the HGP, the challenges and suprises, and the future of genomic research. Lander also talks about his "accidental" path to biology and gives his personal views on spirituality and science.

Eric Lander discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia -- Scene 2. Involvement in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 3. 1986 Symposium: Molecular biology of Homo Sapiens -- Scene 4. Opposition ot the Human Genome Project -- Scene 5. Surprises in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 6. Challenges of the Human Genome Project -- Scene 7. Craig Venter and Celera Genomics -- Scene 8. Competition in science: Public vs. private work on the Human Genome Project -- Scene 9. Competition in science -- Scene 10. Personal competition and responsibility in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 11. Gene patenting -- Scene 12. Dangers of genome research -- Scene 13. 2003 Symposium: the genome of Homo Sapiens -- Scene 14. The future of genomic research -- Scene 15. Personal future goals in genomic research -- Scene 16. Life outside of science: family -- Scene 17. If you did not become a scientist...? -- Scene 18. Spirituality and science.


  • Creation: 2003-06-03


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

Eric Lander earned his A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University (1978) and D.Phil. in mathematics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (1981). He first came to the Whitehead Institute as a Whitehead Fellow in 1986, while still an assistant professor of managerial economics at the Harvard Business School. He is a former Director of the Whitehead Center for Genome Research. As director of the Whitehead Center for Genome Research, Dr. Lander has been one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, contributing 30 percent of the total sequence of the human genome and developing and making freely available many of the key tools used in modern mammalian genomics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has been awarded the Beckman Prize for Lab Automation, the Chiron Prize for Biotechnology, and the Gairdner Award for his outstanding contribution to genomic research. Lander has attended every human genome meeting at CSHL. At the request of Jim Watson, Lander gave his first lecture at the 1986 CSHL symposium on the Molecular Biology of Homo Sapiens.

He is currently Professor of Biology at MIT and Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is the Founding Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1093

1 Cassettes (Copy) : Hi-8 - CSHL1271

1 Optical Disks (Talking science with Eric Lander.) : DVD ; 39 min.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Interview recorded on Mini DV and Hi-8, 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