In this masterfully constructed festival hit, we hear from a broad array of thinkers and scientists about how we are on the brink of a revolution that allows us to tinker with the building blocks of civilization.
It’s a revolutionary scientific breakthrough: a technique known as CRISPR allows us to make precise genetic changes in any living organism. It means that the scientific community will be able to fix diseases – and also design babies.
CRISPR technology is only a few years old but is being rapidly deployed in an unregulated scientific landscape. From breeding pigs for human organ transplants, to fixing sickle cell anaemia and creating plants which can survive climate change, the possibilities of the technology are endless.
But just as decades ago we would have had difficulty predicting the dark sides of today’s internet, there are many alarming directions this technology could take. Footage of Vladimir Putin musing about how soldiers can be created who can’t feel pain is a sharp reminder that as exciting as this new technology is, we need to proceed with caution.