Mon, 5 September 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

The Genetic Age – Our Perilous Quest to Edit Life

Matthew Cobb

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Scientist and broadcaster Matthew Cobb reveals the astonishing potential of the new genetics, sifting between fantasy and the reality when it comes to both benefits and dangers.

How fifty years of genetic engineering have brought us to the brink of a profound and disturbing future.

A new gene editing technology has turned humanity into gods. Enabling us to manipulate the genes in virtually any organism with exquisite precision, CRISPR has given scientists a degree of control that was undreamt of even in science fiction.

But CRISPR is just the latest, giant leap in a long journey to master genetics.

By placing each phase of discovery, anticipation and fear in the context of over fifty years of attempts to master the natural world, Matthew Cobb, the Baillie-Gifford-shortlisted author of The Idea of the Brain, will weave the stories of science, history and culture to shed new light on our future.

With the powers now at our disposal, it is a future that is almost impossible to imagine—but it is one we will create ourselves.

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Matthew Cobb

Scientist and Broadcaster

Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester. The presenter of the BBC radio series Genetic Dreams, Genetic Nightmares, his previous books include The Idea of the Brain: A History, which was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford, and Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Book Prize.