How did you go about your research?
I dived in at the deep end – at Oxford University ‘Future of Humanity Institute’ discussing the idea that, through technology, humans can transcend ‘biological limitations’ and live for thousands of years. I did this because the ‘transhumanist’ idea is a car-crash of radical science and human ethics. I wanted to disorientate myself so I would be forced into untangling everything, and learn the most. That untangling took me on an incredible journey.
I met with leading thinkers and researchers in genetics, synthetic biology, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and networks, which took me to some of the planet’s research powerhouses, including Harvard, MIT and Cornell. All their work happens in the context of the environment though, and so I also spent time investigating climate change and what we can do about it (or, if you don’t accept man-made climate change how we can switch to cleaner and more sustainable technologies) talking to everyone from a climatologists, farmers in the Australia Outback and the president of one of the world’s lowest lying nations. Somewhere in the middle I took a detour to investigate the new commercial spaceflight industry and invented a cocktail
To help me make sense of it all, I spent the final weeks of my journey meeting people who live right in the middle of the future storm of possibilities coming down the line.