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February 22, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

The Genesis Machine: A Virtual Evening with Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel


February 22, 2022
7:00 pm

Books & Books presents…

A Virtual Evening with Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel


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

(PublicAffairs, $29)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 7 PM ET | On Crowdcast


About the Book:

What if the miracle that created mRNA vaccines is less a once-in-lifetime event and more the harbinger of the emerging age of synthetic biology? This fusion of biology and computers has a singular goal: to gain access to cells in order to write new––and possibly better––biological code. Synthetic biology promises to reveal how life is created and how it can be re-created, enabling scientists to rewrite the rules of our reality. It could help us, for example, heal without prescription medications, grow meat without harvesting animals, or confront our looming climate catastrophe. Synthetic biology will determine the ways in which we conceive future generations and how we define family, how we identify disease and treat aging, where we make our homes, and how we nourish ourselves. Soon, we will program living, biological structures as though they were tiny computers. But 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? 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.

About the Authors:

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, NPRPBS and many more outlets. Her TED Talk has received more than 8 million viewsand she annually presents FTI’s Tech Trends Report in a keynote address at SXSW.

ANDREW HESSEL is a microbiologist and geneticist who has worked on the leading edge of genomics, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology. He is the co-founder of Humane Genomics Inc., a seed-stage company developing virus-based therapies for cancer. 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.