Walter Isaacson: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of Humans

Jennifer Doudna has changed the life-science field. In 1987, she and her collaborators created CRISPR, an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA, and opened a brave new world of medical miracles. Conversely, the invention of CRISPR raised many moral questions. With the device, scientists can now detect and destroy DNA, hypothetically making humans less susceptible to viruses, preventing depression, enhancing individual height or muscles or IQ.

In his new book The Code Breaker, famed biographer Walter Isaacson follows Doudna from when she first learned what “the double helix” is all the way to her winning the 2020 Nobel Prize. Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, Doudna has become a leader in the scientific field, often wrestling with the moral issues that arise from her discovery.

Join us as Walter Isaacson traces a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

NOTES

Part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

This program is done in association with Wonderfest.

Speakers
Image - Walter Isaacson
Walter Isaacson
Professor of History, Tulane University, Former CEO, Aspen Institute, Author, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
Image - Kishore Hari
In Conversation with Kishore Hari
Strategic Partnerships, Science Communications and Engagement, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative