IntroductionJohn H. Evans, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, recently visited the Genomics Forum.
During his time at the Genomics Forum he continued his investigation into synthetic biology. One application of this technology would be to create a bacteria with a minimal genome, which would have genomic cassettes attached to it, and these cassettes would produce useful products like fuel. Some social critics have claimed that this level of de-novo genetic manipulation would result in humans thinking of ourselves as gods or, conversely thinking of ourselves as just compilations of genes. He gave a talk on this topic at Cesagen in Cardiff/Lancaster, and produced an article on this topic for a popular magazine. He also gave talks on religion and reproductive genetic technology at Kings College London and on the history of debates over the neo-Darwinist synthesis at Oxford.
He reports that "its great to be a visitor to the Genomics Forum where everyone in the office knows something about what you are working on, and wants to talk with you about your ideas. For example, I got some great insights from a historian of science and a book suggestion that turned out to critical in my revision of my work."