Symposium on Ancestry DNA Testing: Seeking Roots and Uncovering Secrets

Other Events
Wendy Roth, Professor of Sociology
Sep 15, 2022 at - | Penn Museum, Harrison Auditorium
3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Over the last few years, millions of people have turned to direct-to-consumer genomics companies to learn more about their genes, their health risks, their family histories, and their ancestries. With remarkable frequency, the results of these tests have uncovered secrets that no-one was looking for—secrets that have altered understandings of family relationships and ancestral backgrounds and revealed unsuspected connections among perfect strangers. This day-long symposium will feature keynote presentations by noted writer Dani Shapiro (author of the bestselling memoir Inheritance) and documentarian and genetic genealogist Nicka Sewell-Smith, along with talks by an all-star lineup of scholars. During the symposium, the speakers will explore the stories of people who have learned the secrets of their families and ancestries through DNA testing, along with the history, medicine, science, law, and ethics of this fascinating, challenging, and profoundly personal new phenomenon.


  • Who: Registration is free and open to the public: https://upenndnatesting.eventbrite.com
  • When: September 15, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Where: Penn Museum, Harrison Auditorium
  • Event is in-person only and will not be recorded
  • Masks are required