This event took place on April 9, 2020.

Thursday, April 9
7-9 PM EST

Event Details

At a time when a virus threatens to bring us to our knees, join us for a Long Conversation* about engineering biology for the benefit of all. Boston is a global center of innovation in this space, and our Boston-based book contributors are among the brightest lights. These big thinkers will share their startling, provocative, and largely positive visions for our future. RSVP to join the livestream and a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Jason Kelly of Ginkgo Bioworks and Jen Reddy of Manifest Boston kick off this special, interactive evening. Jane Metcalfe, Founder, will lead the conversation featuring:

  • Christina AgapakisSynthetic biologist, artist, creative director at Ginkgo Bioworks
  • Siranush BabakhanovaTranshumanist, founder of the MIT student group Xapiens
  • Brian BergsteinDeputy opinion editor, Boston Globe and coeditor of
  • George ChurchHarvard professor of health sciences and technology 
  • Juan EnriquezFuturist, author, managing director of Excel Venture Management
  • Steve RamirezNeuroscientist, professor at Boston University

*The Long Conversation format was pioneered by Jem Finer of The Pogues when he launched his 1000 year long composition as a way to promote long term thinking. It is a daisy chain of timed but spontaneous 2-person dialogues with no slides and no moderator, just live interaction!

During the livestream, we will be giving away copies of Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species, thanks to Manifest Boston.

Endless West, the molecular spirits company, is creating a signature cocktail recipe for the event, which will be featured in the Viewer’s Guide. If you’d like to sip along at home, use promo code protolife for 15% off online orders of Glyph whiskey, Kazoku sake, or Gemello wine placed between March 26 and April 12. We recommend ordering now for delivery by April 9th!

We look forward to seeing you for an evening of sparkling conversation about how to engineer biology for the benefit of all.

Now more than ever, we need to manifest a future we want rather than one we fear.

Brought to you by
Ginkgo Bioworks

Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to help companies grow better products. Ginkgo’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ginkgo has announced they are donating $25M of no-cost foundry work towards projects that can use their platform to accelerate development of point of care diagnostics, vaccines, or therapeutics for COVID-19. They are also offering to make connections between vetted technical teams and funders, and rapid sharing of R&D information.

Manifest Boston

Manifest Boston is an organization dedicated to igniting and unleashing the potential of Boston. We guide and gather the doers, dreamers, and makers that define who we are as a city and what our future will be. It began in 2014 as HubWeek, an annual innovation festival founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and MIT. Manifest Boston is now a year-round initiative to celebrate the ideas and people that make our community vibrant, brilliant, and bold, and HubWeek is its flagship festival.

Endless West

As featured in Vice, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal, Endless West — the makers of the world’s first molecular spirits, is sparking conversations around food, technology, and sustainability, and how novel applications of science are being used to redefine what it means to craft our favorite food and drink. To date, the company has released an age-styled whiskey made overnight, an award-winning grapeless wine and a riceless sake. Endless West’s spirits are made using a fraction of the usual resources: less wood, water, energy and land.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Endless West has shifted production to making hand sanitizers for hospitals and healthcare organizations. If you know of an organization in need, please follow @endlesswest to spread the word and get in touch: