The next 500 years

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 20 April

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London
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  • So far humans (like Eugene A. Cernan, pictured) have only explored one world beyond Earth

    Credit: NASA

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Event description

Inevitably, life on Earth will come to an end, whether by climate disaster, cataclysmic war, or the death of the sun in a few billion years.

In this talk, Christopher E Mason argues we have a moral duty to explore other planets and solar systems. He envisages 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. And he will lay out a 500-year plan for undertaking the massively ambitious project of reengineering human genetics for life on other worlds.

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About the speaker

Christopher E. Mason is a geneticist and computational biologist who has been a Principal Investigator and Co-investigator of several NASA missions and Planetary Protection projects. He is Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with affiliate appointments at the Meyer Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School, and the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School. His book The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach Other Worlds will be published in April 2021 by MIT Press.

Timing

The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

The Royal Institution is part of the Amazon Affiliate Programme and book links on this page are affiliate links, which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link. All procceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

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