I'm cross-posting this in my blog from the ORIGINS group because I want to try to make sure as many people get to see this as possible.
Edge Master Class 2009
These videos are all embedded so the best I can do is link you to the page where they can be viewed.
These are a series of 6 lectures on the current* state of synthetic genomics (5 by Church, 1 by Venter) given to an audience of movers and shakers - some familiar names (Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss), I've copied out the full-class list at the bottom.
Theses are amazing to listen to because you can hear not only the advanced state of digital biology, but also it's limitations and potentiality (watch the venture capitalists closely...)
Thinking caps on, because you're going to be hearing the words,"electron-microscopy" "protein-folding" "activation sites" and "enzyme catalyst" quite a bit.
but, what is so refreshing - and it takes one back a little - evolution isn't a bone of contention for these people: it's trivially true and accepted. Instead this is about the real intelligent design: all the super-cool things you can make and do once you understand the mechanisms of not only how evolution has produced biological structures but how these can be modified, improved and put to work on new purposes.
Do your brain a favour and set aside 6 hours to learn about the very-recent state of the art.
I say very recent because when you see the exponential curves this stuff is being developed at, two things will probably happen: your jaw will hit the floor and you'll realise at the rate that bio-engineering is working, it outstrips Moore's Law, so 6 months is like a lifetime to these people.
Edge Master Class 2009
*circa six months ago (July 2009)
Stewart Brand, Biologist, Long Now Foundation; Whole Earth Discipline
Larry Brilliant, M.D. Epidemiologist, Skoll Urgent Threats Fund
John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge
Max Brockman, Literary Agent, Brockman, Inc.; What's Next: Dispatches on the
Future of Science
Jason Calacanis, Internet Entrepreneur, Mahalo
George Dyson, Science Historian; Darwin Among the Machines
Jesse Dylan, Film-Maker, Form.tv, FreeForm.tv
Arie Emanuel, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
Sam Harris, Neuroscientist, UCLA; The End of Faith
W. Daniel Hillis, Computer Scientist, Applied Minds; Pattern On The Stone
Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the National Economic Council
Salar Kamangar, Vice President, Product Management, Google
Lawrence Krauss, Physicist, Origins Initiative, ASU; Hiding In The Mirror
John Markoff, Journalist, The New York Times; What The Dormouse Said
Katinka Matson, Cofounder, Edge; Artist, katinkamatson.com
Elon Musk, Physicist, SpaceX, Tesla Motors
Nathan Myhrvold, Physicist, CEO, Intellectual Ventures, LLC, The Road Ahead
Tim O'Reilly, Founder, O'Reilly Media, O'Reilly Radar
Larry Page, CoFounder, Google
Lucy Page Southworth, Biomedical Informatics Researcher, Stanford
Sean Parker, The Founders Fund; CoFounder Napster & Facebook
Ryan Phelan, Founder, DNA Direct
Nick Pritzker, Hyatt Development Corporation
Ed Regis, Writer; What Is Life
Terrence Sejnowski, Computational Neurobiologist, Salk; The Computational Brain
Maria Spiropulu, Physicist, Cern & Caltech
Victoria Stodden, Computational Legal Scholar, Yale Law School
Nassim Taleb, Essayist & Risk Engineer, The Black Swan
Richard Thaler, Behavioral Economist, U. Chicago; Nudge
Craig Venter, Genomics Researcher; CEO, Synthetic Genomics, A Life Decoded
Nathan Wolfe, Biologist, Global Virus Forecasting Initiative
Alexandra Zukerman, Assistant Editor, Edge