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James, Wilmot G.

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Conference & Workshop Grant
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James, Dr. Wilmot G., Africa Genome Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa - To aid conference on genomics and African society: the future health of Africa, 2004, Cairo

'Genomics and African Society: The Future Health of Africa,' March 26-28, 2004, Cairo, Egypt -- Organizer: Wilmot G. James (Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa). Archaeologists, physical anthropologists, geneticists, linguists, and historians with an interest in the long-term history of African people met in Cairo in March 2004 to debate the implications of recent genetic advances for their disciplines. These paleoscientists found much in common but reported many difficulties in probing the meanings of each other's texts and diagrams. Genetic and linguistic analyses of modem communities, combined with analyses of archaeological and fossil materials, promised to reveal many new details of Africa's rich cultural and fossil heritage. The overarching focus of the meeting, alongside the themes of ethics and biotechnology, was the successive diffusions and migrations into and out of Africa that mark the history of the continent. Although each discipline has much to offer individually, it became clear that when successfully and sensitively combined, these paleodisciplines could write a lucid and detailed historical narrative of African history.