The Age of Living Machines: How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution

Nov 8, 2019 |
Cambridge, MA
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Members and guests were invited to a luncheon with Susan Hockfield, President Emerita and Professor at MIT to discuss her new book The Age of Living Machines: How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution. The conversation focused on the promise of twenty-first century technology to overcome some of the greatest humanitarian, medical and environmental challenges of our time.

A century ago, discoveries in physics came together with engineering to produce an array of astonishing new technologies: radios, telephones, televisions, aircraft, radar, nuclear power, computers, the Internet and a host of still- evolving digital tools. These technologies so radically reshaped our world that we can no longer conceive of life without them.

In her book, Hockfield argues that today we are on the cusp of a new convergence, with discoveries in biology coming together with engineering to produce another array of almost inconceivable technologies. These next-generation products have the potential to be every bit as revolutionary as the twentieth century’s digital wonders: Virus-built batteries. Protein-based water filters. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles. Mind-reading bionic limbs. Computer-engineered crops.

Following this optimistic conversation, guests had the opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Hockfield and get their books signed.