Author Discussion and Signing with Local Writer Ted Anton

Title: Programmable Planet: The Synthetic Biology Revolution.

Author: Ted Anton

Date: October 12, 2023

Day: Thursday

Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Programmable Planet: The Synthetic Biology Revolution  Cover Image


A new science is reengineering the fabric of life. Synthetic biology offers bold new ways of manufacturing medicines, clothing, foods, fragrances, and fuels, often using microbe fermentation, much like brewing beer. The technology can help confront climate change, break down industrial pollutants, and fight novel viruses. Today, researchers are manipulating life forms and automating evolution to create vegetarian "meat," renewable construction materials, and cancer treatments. In the process, they are changing our concept of what life science can achieve. Is this a new industrial and information revolution-or dangerous tinkering that could unleash unintended consequences?

Programmable Planet is a grand tour through the world of synthetic biology, telling the stories of the colorful visionaries whose ideas are shaping discoveries. Ted Anton explores the field from its beginning in fighting malaria in Africa to the COVID vaccines and beyond. Covering medical and agricultural triumphs and blunders, he examines successes in energy production, plant gene editing, and chemical manufacturing, as well as the most controversial attempts at human gene enhancement. This book reports from the front lines of research, showing policy makers' struggle to stay abreast of the technologies they aim to regulate. Even-handed, lively, and informative, Programmable Planet gives a glimpse of the promise and problems of a new biology-based industry.

Ted Anton - Professor, English - DePaul University | LinkedIn

About the Author

Ted Anton is the author of The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business and the Fountain of Youth (University of Chicago Press, 2013), and Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World (Henry Holt: 2000, 2001), an pick and a featured choice on His book, Eros, Magic and the Murder of Professor Culianu (Northwestern University Press: 1996) won a Carl Sandburg Award from the Friends of the Chicago Public Library. The New York Times called it "an engrossing story of a twentieth century original."

Anton's articles have been honored as finalist for a National Magazine Award, as notable essays in three years of Best American Essays, and appeared in several anthologies. A co-editor of The New Science Journalists (Ballantine, 1995), he is a professor in the English department at DePaul University in Chicago.



Event date: 

Thursday, October 12, 2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Event address: 

7419 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Programmable Planet: The Synthetic Biology Revolution By Ted Anton Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780231205108
Published: Columbia University Press - July 25th, 2023

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