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:Well I’d like to think that I’m realistic which means that the optimism is only justified if a few people take very strong action, sometimes putting themselves or their careers at risk. And then you will see this positive feedback loop where more people get inspired by this, and I mentioned some of the people that have inspired me, that have taken their family’s disease and become healthcare activists. If we have a few activists, it doesn’t have to be everybody, but everybody should join with them in doing their little part. So I think that would lead to optimism, but I’m not going to be blindly optimist. We need to have activists and people who get inspired by activists.