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The Next 500 Years: Human Life Beyond Earth

Evening Program on Zoom

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1A0148
Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Inevitably, life on Earth will come to an end, whether by climate disaster, or by cataclysmic war, or when the sun runs out of fuel in a few billion years. To avoid extinction, will humans have to find a new home planet, perhaps even a new solar system, to inhabit?

Geneticist and computational biologist Christopher Mason argues that the same capacity for ingenuity that has enabled us to build rockets and land on other planets can be applied to redesigning biology so that we can sustainably inhabit those planets.

Mason lays out a 500-year plan for undertaking the massively ambitious project of re-engineering human genetics for life in other worlds. With the assumption that humans are the only species aware that life on Earth has an expiration date, Mason believes we have a responsibility to act as the shepherd of lifeforms—not only for our species but for all species on which we depend and for those still to come (by accidental or designed evolution).

Mason’s book, The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds (The MIT Press), is available for purchase.

BOOK SALE INFORMATION

  • Purchase your copy of The Next 500 Years by Christopher Mason here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.

PATRON INFORMATION

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
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Inside Science

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.