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Dr Philip Ball

Philip Ball is a writer. Most of his books are concerned with science: its history, its interactions with the arts and society, its achievements, delights and detours. He is a regular columnist, podcast and radio presenter and broadcaster. He was an editor of Nature for many years, and long ago, a chemist and physicist of sorts.



George Church

George McDonald Church is an American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist. He is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Robert Langer

Robert Samuel Langer, Jr. is an American chemical engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, inventor and one of the twelve Institute Professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alan Jasanoff

Prof. Jasanoff obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard College. After completing his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK, he returned to Harvard University to commit to his PhD studies in Biophysics. Jasanoff joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT in 2004.

Tomer Ullman

Tomer Ullman is a cognitive scientist interested in common-sense reasoning, and building computational models for explaining high-level cognitive processes and the acquisition of new knowledge by children and adults.

David Cox

David Cox is the IBM Director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, a first of its kind industry-academic collaboration between IBM and MIT, focused on fundamental research in artificial intelligence. The Lab was founded with a $240m, 10 year commitment from IBM and brings together researchers at IBM with faculty at MIT to tackle hard problems at the vanguard of AI.

Dr. Iyad Rahwan

Dr. Iyad Rahwan is an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and Director of the Center for Humans and Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.


How To Grow A Human: Adventures in Who We Are and How We Are Made

On a swelteringly hot day during the summer of 2017, Philip Ball had a piece of his arm removed and turned into a rudimentary miniature brain. This book is his attempt to make sense of that strange experience and to understand the implications of our new-found power to transform cells. If any type of cell in your body can become any other, is it possible to grow not just a mini-brain but an entire human being in a lab, from a scrap of skin? Ball recounts the macabre history of human tissue culture, and scrutinizes the narratives that frame our understanding of our cells and our genesis. At the cellular level, the unlikely process from which a clump of cells becomes a human offers much to marvel at. But now we can intervene in that process in unprecedented ways. With the cutting-edge scientific advances of today, Ball considers the likelihood of designer babies, gene-editing and cloning within our lifetimes, and of unlocking the true potential of the cell so that we might grow new organs, limbs, even whole humans. The possibilities are as amazing as they are terrifying.

Available on Amazon (UK)