Appearing Elsewhere: the perils and promise of synthetic biology; America's 12 community types; Penn Law professor and NFL special master Stephen Burbank

I’ve been slow to post links to a few pieces I wrote that were published over the past few months. They include:

  • Coverage of the Presidential Bioethics Commission, which met in Philadelphia this fall. The Commission’s topic was the promise and the problems of synthetic biology, an emerging field of science which aspires to create life from non-life by programming genetic code on a computer and manufacturing it out of chemicals. I reported on two days of spirited testimony, which included an arresting presentation from Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner, whose wide-eyed humility and wry, wise eloquence made him one of my favorite subjects I’ve ever written about. (You can see his testimony here. It’s well worth watching.)
  • review of the the book Patchwork Nation which slices and dices America into 12 community types that go beyond the Red State/Blue State dichotomy.  Do you live in a Campus and Career Center? Or the Monied ‘Burbs? Or  Tractor Country?
  • An interview with Penn Law professor Stephen Burbank, who might just hold the future of the NFL in his hands (and also has some interesting things to say about they hyper-politicization of the Supreme Court and the reasons behind the explosion of litigation in America).