The GENE - NMPBS Science Cafe

April 25, 2020
10:30am Mountain Time
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Join us for an online screening of an excerpt from Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History. Following the 35 minute excerpt from the film, we will be joined by filmmaker Chris Durance and genetic research scientist Audrey Winkelsas who is featured in the film. Previously broadcast on PBS this 4 hour documentary was coproduced by WETA, and developed with Ken Burns, Barak Goodman and Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book upon which the documentary is based.

The series uses science, social history and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome, while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior. From the story of the remarkable accomplishments of the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled excitement and ethical challenges of CRISPR and gene therapy, the documentary takes viewers on a journey through key genetics discoveries that represent some of the greatest achievements in human history.

Video Description

The Gene Screening Reel - Unlisted

90 minutes


  • Laurel Wyckoff

    Moderator Education and Outreach Manager, NMPBS

  • Rose Poston


  • Audrey Winkelsas

    Audrey Winkelsas is a doctoral student in the National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami in 2015 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. During her undergraduate career, Audrey was involved in research at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Scripps Research Institute. Her academic achievements earned her induction into Phi Beta Kappa, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and the David G. Anderson Prize, presented annually to an outstanding graduating senior in biochemistry at the University of Miami. In her doctoral work, she is investigating RNA-based therapeutics for SMA. Currently she is an NIH Oxford scholar. Audrey has Type II SMA.

  • Chris Durance

    hris Durrance is a documentary filmmaker, who has worked on more than a dozen films for PBS FRONTLINE, including College Inc. about for-profit education, The Madoff Affair and Return of the Taliban. He has worked all over the world, including Europe, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and China and is the winner of a Peabody, two Emmys, a duPont-Columbia silver baton and an Overseas Press Club award. He worked with Barak Goodman on Clinton, the four-hour presidential biography for PBS American Experience, which aired in February 2012. Chris then developed the film of The Story of Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies and directed the third and final episode which aired on PBS in Spring 2015. More recently, he produced a biography of President Ford and is currently directing The Gene, was broadcast on PBS in April 2020.

  • Rose Poston

    Rose is an outreach coordinator at NMPBS and the producer of Science Cafe.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.