PASADENA, Calif.—Wilmot James, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa, and cofounder of the Africa Human Genome Initiative, will speak at the California Institute of Technology on Thursday, January 15, at 4 p.m. The event will be held in Ramo Auditorium in the center of campus and is free and open to the public.
The title of James's lecture is "Africa, Genomic Science, and Some Notes on the Evolution of Human Diversity." He will talk about the implications of the human genome sequencing effort for research and development in Africa, the need for partnerships with global science institutions, and fresh approaches to diversity.
James is currently the Moore Visiting Professor of History and Sociology at Caltech, and is conducting research at Caltech on the human genome sequencing effort.
James is the author, coauthor, or editor of 14 books, including What Holds Us Together: Social Cohesion in South Africa; Nelson Mandela: From Freedom to the Future; and Spirit of the Nation: Reflections on South Africa's Educational Ethos. He is a former dean of humanities at the University of Cape Town, and is currently a trustee and committee chairman of the education, media, arts, and culture global portfolio of the Ford Foundation of New York. He is also chairman of the South African government's Immigration Advisory Board.
He was head of electoral information for the Western Cape during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, and was chairman of the Green Paper Task Team on International Migration. James was also a member of the White Paper Task Team on Immigration, and project leader of the Values in Education Initiative in the Ministry of Education.
James holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has also held visiting positions at Yale University, Indiana University, the American Bar Foundation, and served as an associate editor of the Cape Argus.
The lecture is part of the President's Lecture Series on Achieving Diversity in Science, Math, and Engineering. The series was established to bring to campus speakers who have had highly successful experiences in promoting women and underrepresented minorities in science and technology. The event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Minority Student Education, Officers of the Faculty, and the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
No tickets or reservations are required. Free parking will be available in the parking structure at 370 South Holliston Avenue, where directions to the auditorium will be provided.