Virtual Event: Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel

presenting

The Genesis Machine:
Our Quest to Rewrite Life
in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Date

Feb
25
Friday
February 25, 2022
12:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes celebrated biotechnologists AMY WEBB and ANDREW HESSELL for a discussion of co-authored book, The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology.

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About The Genesis Machine

Synthetic biology will revolutionize how we define family, how we identify disease and treat aging, where we make our homes, and how we nourish ourselves. This fast-growing field—which uses computers to modify or rewrite genetic code—has created revolutionary, groundbreaking solutions such as the mRNA COVID vaccines, IVF, and lab-grown hamburger that tastes like the real thing. It gives us options to deal with existential threats: climate change, food insecurity, and access to fuel.

But there are significant risks.

Who should decide how to engineer living organisms? Whether engineered organisms should be planted, farmed, and released into the wild? Should there be limits to human enhancements? What cyber-biological risks are looming? Could a future biological war, using engineered organisms, cause a mass extinction event?

Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel’s riveting examination of synthetic biology and the bioeconomy provide the background for thinking through the upcoming risks and moral dilemmas posed by redesigning life, as well as the vast opportunities waiting for us on the horizon.

Praise for The Genesis Machine

“We can now program biological systems like we program computers, with artificial intelligence and machine learning accelerating the speed of innovation and applications of synthetic biology. In an accessible and fascinating narrative, The Genesis Machine lays out a roadmap for this interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology that is forever reshaping life as we know it.” —Rana el Kaliouby, author of Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology

“Are latest innovations in synthetic biology simply a miracle that ends a crisis or a breakthrough to an entirely new way of living? That’s the question futurist Amy Webb and microbiologist Andrew Hessel reveal for us with this fascinating book. The history of the world is a history of unintended consequences, for better and for worse, and Webb and Hessel capture the coming fusion of tech and biology in vivid detail.” —Ian Bremmer, author of Collision Course

The Genesis Machine is fantastic, explaining how genetic code is the alphabet in which much of the future will be written. Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel have taken the very complicated subject of synthetic biology and made it understandable with sharp prose and sharp analysis that cut through mysteries of science and twenty-first-century humanism.” —Alec Ross, author of The Industries of the Future

Amy Webb
Amy Webb

Amy Webb

Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist, founder of the Future Today Institute, and award-winning author of The Big Nine and The Signals Are Talking. She writes extensively about biotechnology, artificial intelligence, technology policy, and business strategy, regularly contributing to publications including Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, Wired, Fortune, Mother Jones, MIT Sloan Management Review, and others. Her future forecasting work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, CNN, NPR, PBS and many more outlets. Her TED Talk has received more than 8 million views and she annually presents FTI’s Tech Trends Report in a keynote address at SXSW.

Photo Credit: Elena Seibert

Andrew Hessell
Andrew Hessell

Andrew Hessell

Andrew Hessel is a microbiologist and geneticist who has worked on the leading edge of genomics, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology. He is the CEO of Humane Genomics Inc., a seed-stage company developing virus-based therapies for cancer, starting with dogs. He is a co-founder of the Genome Project-write, the international scientific effort working to engineer large genomes, including the human genome. From 2012-2017 Andrew was the Distinguished Researcher at Autodesk Life Sciences. He has been Singularity University faculty since 2009. His goal is to help people better understand and use living systems to meet the needs of society.

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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