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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Biological Futures in a Globalized World

Biological Futures
in a Globalized World

An initiative of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington

The 20th century and first years of the 21st have been characterized by staggering increases in biological knowledge, and by increasing worldwide use of that knowledge to manipulate and build living systems. The range of urgent and emerging issues that need attention include:

  • the risks associated with expanded public access to engineered biological organisms;
  • the impact of human manipulation of the biosphere for food and fuel;
  • responses to infectious disease;
  • the implications of advances in understanding genome sequence and reproductive technology.

The cluster of projects that make up Biological Futures in a Globalized World are undertaken in collaboration with the Center for Biological Futures, founded Spring 2011 at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Our joint mandate is to foster better thinking about the global impact of these continuing developments on our lives and environments, on human identity, and on human relationships with the rest of the living world.

The interdisciplinary projects that the Simpson Center for the Humanities will host in partnership with the Center for Biological Futures, are designed to lay the groundwork for a sustained program of rigorous research and innovative training that will advance our understanding of these complex issues. These projects will run initially for two years, 2011-2013, and include:

Learn more about the Biological Futures Fellows who participated in the Summer 2011 Research Consortium, or the Biweekly Colloquium Series and upcoming colloquia.