George Church is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard and MIT. In 1984, Church, along with Walter Gilbert, developed the first direct genomic sequencing method and helped initiate the Human Genome Project. Church is responsible for inventing the concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and DNA array synthesizers. Church initiated the Personal Genome Project in 2005 as well as research into synthetic biology. He is director of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy at Harvard and MIT and director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard, MIT and Washington University. He is a senior editor for Nature EMBO Molecular Systems Biology.
Transcript: It sounds a little bit too arrogant, but I think I certainly have a working model for how I conduct my life, and it may or may not be a correct worldview. I think that a lot of what we have are a set of accidents. And there is design in the world, and there will be lots of design going forward. And it’s an opportunity to embrace both the natural and the synthetic. There’s a lot of what’s natural is painful, and a lot of what’s synthetic is not completely thought out, but offers an alternative. My worldview is that dynamic between design and past and future. The parts of nature that we like, and the parts of nature which, for one reason or another, because of say population explosion is still natural, but it’s ________. It’s pathological from our human viewpoint, and we need to embrace ecology in a very intelligent way. And this requires that our politicians and regular folks know a great deal more about ecology in their world and their personal diversity than they currently know.