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The Next 500 Years


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Do we have a moral duty to colonize other planets and other solar systems?

About the Author

Christopher E. Mason is a geneticist and computational biologist who has been a Principal Investigator and Co-investigator of seven NASA missions and projects. He is Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with affiliate appointments at the Meyer Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School, and the Consortium for Space Genetics at Harvard Medical School.


"Readers looking for science writing that sees bold possibilities in the future will be enthralled."
- Publishers Weekly "[This] book arrives at a fascinating moment in the history of technology, when we may, after all, be able to avert previously unavoidable catastrophes . . . Mason's book is a genuine, timely and engaging addition to a 1000-year-old Western tradition, grounded in religious expectations and a quest for transcendence and salvation. Visionaries from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to space pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky have all expounded on the tenets that underpin Mason's account: the apocalypse is imminent, but, by increasing human knowledge, we may recover the paradise we enjoyed before the flood . . . Mason puts a new layer of flesh on what have, so far, been some ardent but very sketchy dreams."
- New Scientist

In his new book, The Next 500 Years, geneticist Christopher Mason argues, 'It is no longer a question of 'if' we can engineer life--only 'how' and that 'Engineering is humanity's innate duty, needed to ensure the survival of life.'

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