Rob Reid (@Rob_Reid) is a tech entrepreneur, early-stage tech investor, author of After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley, and host of the After On Podcast.

What We Discuss with Rob Reid:

  • The potential for synthetic biology to be leveraged by nihilistic mass murderers to wipe out millions.
  • The potential for synthetic biology to be leveraged by altruistic medical pioneers to save millions.
  • What CRISPR is and how its eventual availability to hobbyists may ensure there’s a mad scientist on every block.
  • Why the future of synthetic biology may be exponentially more dangerous to humanity than the nuclear proliferation of the Cold War.
  • What we can start doing now to prepare for this future and minimize its risks while reaping its rewards.
  • And much more…

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Lately we can’t even turn on the news without bracing for the next disaster. Whether it’s a mass-shooting, terrorism, or some other catastrophe of our own making, it’s pretty clear that there’s a small percentage of the population that just wants to kill as many people as possible before they leave this world. Fortunately, most nihilistic killers like these don’t have access to nuclear weapons. But what if they had access to something equally dangerous? What if nearly everybody did?

On this episode we talk with science fiction author, tech entrepreneur, and fellow podcaster Rob Reid, who recently spoke at TED about synthetic biology — a relatively new field of gene-splicing and genetic engineering that is expensive today, but on the cusp of being affordable to hobbyists soon. It’s an exciting notion, but what happens if one of these hobbyists turns out to be a nihilistic mass murderer in waiting whose ambition is to create a devastating superbug and wipe out millions of people? Rob addresses this and so much more in this simultaneously terrifying and fascinating episode. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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