Daily Features

Designing the Future: A 2020 Vision

New book from the cofounder of WIRED magazine offers 25 visions for designing our collective future

By Stephanie Salomon and Steve Kroeter January 14, 2020

Our New Year’s wish for all of you is for a happy, healthy, and truly visionary 2020 — a year filled with fresh thinking about the future.

To ring it all in, we’re excited to share publication news about a brand new book, Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species.

Co-edited by Jane Metcalfe, the co-founder of Wired magazine, which wrote the first draft of the history of the digital revolution, and Brian Bergstein, and beautifully designed by AIGA medalist Jennifer Morla, Neo.Life imagines our biological future  — our health, our food, our sex lives, and more — as impacted by technological innovation.

Featuring 25 contributions from some of the biggest thinkers and most creative minds working today at the intersection of biology and technology, Neo.Life includes essays, interviews, fiction, and visual art that explore what the authors call the “neobiological frontier.” Think of it as a guide to your future self, viewed with 2020 vision.

 

In these pages, you will:

  • Explore filmmaker and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson’s ideas about identity in her antibody-as-art project that will change how you think about life science technologies.
     
  • Encounter the mesmerizing science fiction of Hannu Rajaniemi.

  • Get to know neuroscientist Steve Ramirez, whose work suggests that humans might someday be able to reactivate lost memories, dampen negative ones, or even plant new ones—which could pave the way for targeted treatments for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or even Alzheimer’s disease.
     
  • Hear from Oshiorenoya (Osh) Agabi, the Swiss Nigerian roboticist/neuroscientist who’s built a brain on a chip, literally blending silicon and neurons. He envisions using his technology to allow us to connect our consciousnesses together in a sort of giant empathy web.
     
  • Ponder the inevitable ethical implications of this new frontier with CRISPR scientist and film producer Samira Kiani, who outlines the safety checks she’s developing to control gene edits. Biosecurity policy expert Megan Palmer shares how her experiences led to social responsibility programs for synthetic biologists.

... and much more. 

The full list of contributors includes: George Church, Ramez Naam, Nicola Patron, Seth Bannon, Steve Ramirez, Samira Kiani, Bowen Zhao, Changle Zhou, Kristen Fortney, Juan Enriquez, Oshiorenoya Agabi, David Eagleman, Zack Denfeld, Cathrine Kramer, Emma Conley, Robert Plomin, Siranush Babakhanova, Megan Palmer, Zoe Cormier, Lux Alptraum, Joel Garreau, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Danny Hillis, Christina Agapakis, Sissel Tolaas, Daisy Ginsberg, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Becky Lyon, and Hannu Rajaniemi.

From David Eagleman’s essay “The Children You Could Have Produced Instead,” In Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species. Image courtesy of Marla Aufmuth

 

Join the authors on their just-launched Kickstarter and reserve your copy of the book!

On January 14, 2020, until 3:00 PM EST, you can take advantage of an Early Bird Discount. The Kickstarter campaign ends on February 14, 2020.

 

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