ITP Blog

Citizen Science - Week 5

October 04, 2018

A common sentiment I often hear from parents today is how they want their kids to learn computer programming — the language of the future. This is because of the ubiquity and modern society’s dependency on digital devices to live a normal life today. But after finishing this week’s readings, especially Dyson’s speculative Our Biotech Future and Specter’s description of synthesized BioBricks, I’d argue the curriculum for future generations should include more biology (with a mix of ethics in there too). According to Dyson:

Biology is now bigger than physics [conventional engineering], as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century. Biology is also more important than physics, as measured by its economic consequences, by its ethical implications, or by its effects on human welfare.

Synthesized biology, gene-editing, and other developments in bio-technology are undeniably scary because it can enable humanity’s more Dr. Frankenstein tendencies. But Specter’s article mentions that accelerating biotechnology development with an emphasis on openness and public education could challenge the existing public fears that are driven by the existing corporate, centralized research and development system. This public education and exposure is something I’d like to explore in my gene drive narrative, particularily how information is repacked and dispersed from dryer science reports to social media bites.

Adrian Bautista

NYU ITP documentation blog.
Words are my own.