J. Craig Venter - The Future of Life | How To Academy


Wed, 28 February 2024

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT

J. Craig Venter – The Future of Life

In Conversation With David Malone

Upon completing his historic work on the Human Genome Project, J. Craig Venter declared that he would sequence the genetic code of all life on earth. A journey that begins in the oceans…

A household name following both the mapping of the human genome and, in 2010, the creation of the first synthetic organism, J. Craig Venter is a singular figure in 21st century science: a biologist whose legacy is secure and who, at 77, still continues to push boundaries.

He joins us in conversation with David Malone to share a story that is equal parts thrilling global adventure and a journey of momentous scientific discovery: his fifteen year, 65k mile quest to map the microbiome of the oceans. Travelling in the Sorcerer II, a 100ft sailboat-turned-research vessel, Venter and his team discovered millions of unknown genes, thousands of unseen protein families, and new lineages of bacteria that revealed the unimaginable complexity of life on earth.

Yet despite this exquisite diversity, Venter encountered sobering reminders of how human activity is disturbing the delicate microbial ecosystem that nurtures life on earth. In the face of unprecedented climate change, he will show how we can harness the microbial genome to develop alternative sources of energy, food, and medicine that might ultimately avert our destruction.

This event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine. The RSM is one of the UK’s leading providers of continuing learning for healthcare professionals. They bring people together to have the medical conversations that matter. Their vision is “Better Healthcare for Better Lives” and as a registered charity and membership organisation they aim to achieve this by sharing learning and supporting innovation across all areas of healthcare.

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J. Craig Venter


J. Craig Venter is founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a nonprofit research organization. He is cofounder of the biotechnology companies Celera, Synthetic Genomics, and Human Longevity. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has received numerous public honours and scientific awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Science.

David Malone

Award-winning Science Filmmaker

David Malone is a filmmaker and TV presenter whose documentaries include Testing God, Soul Searching (both Channel 4), Dangerous Knowledge and The Secret Life of Waves (both BBC). He is the author of The Debt Generation.