Genetically Modified Storytelling: Can Science Fiction Prognosticate Our Biotech Future?
Sci-fi writers write our future. Jules Verne gives us Captain Nemo and a century later missile-loaded submarines troll the seas. Gene Roddenberry gives us Star Trek in 1964, and just five years later the Apollo 11 mission brings man to the moon. William Gibson gives us Cyberpunk and 20 years later Wikileaks cracks open global diplomacy. So what about biotech. What does scifi predict? Is it the replicants of Bladerunner? The biopunk megacorporations of The Windup Girl? Maybe it's this beautiful and quiet story in the New Yorker?
Through short readings over three Tuesday nights we'll explore the literature, and then use it to examine our biotech future--its ethics, its promise and its price. We'll then get our hands dirty with experiments that illustrate and explain the science behind the fiction.
Daniel Grushkin writes about the intersection of science, business and culture for a number of science and business magazines, including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, Businessweek. He's a cofounder of Genspace.
Wythe Marschall is the co-author of Suspicious Anatomy, an illustrated book of fake science, and the co-founder of the Hollow Earth Society. He is also a member of Observatory, a prominent art-and-science gallery/events space in Brooklyn. His stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Ninth Letter, Salt Hill, 5_Trope, Knock, The Kennesaw Review, The Brooklyn Review, and elsewhere.
When & Where
Genspace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting culture, innovation and education in molecular biology for both children and adults. We work inside and outside of traditional settings, providing a safe, supportive environment for training and mentoring in biotechnology. In the summer of 2010, we built the first-ever community laboratory, a facility where we design workshops, train students and innovate new technologies. As a membership-based community lab, we offer New Yorkers the opportunity to work on their own projects in a safe, Biosafety level 1 facility.