An eye-opening, mind-bending exploration of how mankind is reshaping its genetic future, based on the viral TED Talk series “Will Our Kids Be a Different Species?” and “The Next Species of Human.”
Are you willing to engineer the DNA of your unborn children and grand-children to be healthier? Better looking? More intelligent? Why are rates of autism, asthma, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer and having far fewer kids?
Futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution for all species—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example:
• What if life forms are limited only by the bounds of our imagination? Are designer babies and pets, de-extinction, even entirely newspecies fair game?
• As humans, animals, and plants become ever more resistant to disease and aging, what will become the leading causes of death?
• Man-machine interfaces may allow humans to live much longer. What will happen when we transfer parts of our “selves” into clones, into stored cells and machines?
Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. Future humans, perhaps a more diverse, resilient, gentler, and intelligent species, may become better caretakers of the planet—but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth.
Chosen by Nature magazine as a Fall 2016 season highlight.
Juan Enriquez has a career that spans business, domestic and international politics, and science. He was the founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, a fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, and a peace negotiator during Mexico’s Zapatista rebellion. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, is the author of As the Future Catches You, and has published his work in Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Science, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Globe. Mr. Enriquez is the CEO of Biotechonomy, a life-sciences research and venture capital firm.
Steve Gullans is a cofounder of Excel Venture Management, which builds start-ups in synthetic biology, big data, and new genetics technologies. Gullans was a professor at Harvard Medical School for 18 years and has published more than 130 scientific papers in leading journals. He lives in Boston.