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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

Town Hall’s Science series is dedicated to understanding the world around us. Whether we’re hearing from a legendary physicist or a UW graduate student, the Science series explores math, biology, chemistry, the environment, and so much more.

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Oct 31, 2019

Thanks to the relatively new science of epigenetics, we now know that the experiences of previous generations have a direct effect on our health. Author Judith Finlayson and Dr. Kent Thornburg delved into the inner workings of our hereditary health with insight from their book You Are What Your Grandparents Ate. Finlayson and Thornburg highlighted research rooted in the work of the late epidemiologist Dr. David Barker showing that heredity involves much more than the genes your parents passed on to you. They revealed how risks for chronic diseases—including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and dementia—can be traced back to your first 1,000 days of existence, from the moment you were conceived.

Finlayson and Thornburg outlined how positive lifestyle changes have been shown to spark epigenetic adjustments that can lead to better health, not only for ourselves, our offspring, and our children, but also for generations to come. Join Finlayson and Thornburg for a call to action for social as well as personal change, and a message on changing our own health to influence the future of the world.

Judith Finlayson is a bestselling author who has written books on a variety of subjects, from personal well-being and women’s history to food and nutrition. She is a former national newspaper columnist for The Globe and Mail, as well as a magazine journalist and board member of various organizations focusing on legal, medical, and women’s issues. She is also the author of over a dozen cookbooks.

Dr. Kent Thornburg is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Developmental Health at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, and Director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Reading Room at Town Hall on October 3, 2019.