David Reich

Who We Are and How We Got Here

20:47 min
Anthropology, History
335 pages, 2018

Drawing on breakthroughs in genomic analysis, David Reich's work unravels how modern DNA sequencing is revolutionizing our grasp of the intricate migrations, mixtures, and adaptations underlying human ancestry. Reich confronts outdated beliefs of isolated human lineages and simplistic origin tales to spotlight our shared, often unexpected evolutionary journeys cross-pollinating concepts of culture, language, and technology over millennia. Guiding readers through case studies spanning Neanderthal interbreeding, into-Africa evolutionary theories, the lasting impact of ghost populations, and the Yamnaya cultural domination of Eurasia, this revelatory research casts modern human populations as inheritors of deeply interconnected narratives that have broad implications for our diversity today. For readers curious about humanity's origins, Reich's work provides a science-based foundation of what we know so far.

David Reich

David Reich is a renowned geneticist and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. He has made significant contributions to the field of ancient DNA research, using genomic data to study human prehistory, migration patterns, and the genetic origins of various populations around the world. Reich's groundbreaking work has shed light on the complex history of human evolution and has challenged long-held beliefs about the relationships between different human populations. He has authored numerous scientific papers and the popular science book "Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past," which explores the implications of his research for our understanding of human history and identity.


By analyzing variations throughout the three billion DNA letters encoding our biology, scientists can trace dynamic processes of migration, mixing, and natural selection underlying human ancestry and evolution.
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Cover of Who We Are and How We Got Here