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(Re) born to be wild?

(Re)born to be wild? De-extinction and the issues it creates, a talk by Britt Wray

Date & Time:

October 16, 2017 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm


Bio Sciences 561


Genomics, Bioinformatics and the Climate Crisis, a CIH Working Group, is pleased to present a talk by Britt Wray: (Re)born to be wild? De-extinction and the issues it creates.

Monday, October 16, 2017 | 12 p.m. | BI 561

In this talk, Britt Wray will explore the scientific movement known as de-extinction, where researchers are trying to make proxies of extinct species, like the woolly mammoth, gastric brooding frog and passenger pigeon “come back to life” using advanced biotechnologies and breeding techniques. But why are they doing this, and what ethical, environmental, legal and social issues does it create? Wray wants to increase the amount of critical public engagement around this seemingly quixotic idea, because it will affect our ecosystems, which affects us all. 

About the speaker:

Britt Wray is a science broadcaster and writer working in podcasting, interactive documentary, and writing. She is co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow’s World, which explores the future of science and technology, and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Copenhagen, where she has been studying science communication with a focus on synthetic biology. Wray is the creator of a forthcoming interactive documentary series produced by the National Film Board of Canada about personal genomics and gene editing, and is the creator of the interactive audio archive which features experts' audio diaries about synthetic biology. Wray’s first book, called Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction is about a new scientific movement that aims to bring extinct species "back to life” as well as help endangered species on the brink (published in October 2017 by Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute). Wray's narrative productions have been broadcast on several radio shows for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Ideas, Spark, Radio 3) and New York Public Radio (Studio 360) as well as the Radiotopia network's Love and Radio. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Institute for Journalism and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Mél Hogan, or visit


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