Raymond McCauley, scientist, engineer, entrepreneur and Chair of Biology at Singularity University takes us on a fascinating journey as he explains the many ways that biotechnology is changing our world.
McCauley is a biotechnology expert who is interested in the ways that biology, genetics, medicine, and agriculture impact our lives. He is the Co-founder and Chief Architect for BioCurious—a not-for-profit in which scientists, bio hobbyists, as well as entrepreneurs can align their interests to launch the latest and greatest technology-based discoveries. McCauley’s extensive, groundbreaking work has been featured in Wired, Forbes, Time, and others.
McCauley discusses his background and explains why he is so motivated to work on a vast number of different projects at once. From his early work as a computer scientist working on web-enabling databases to his shift to biophysics, McCauley has a wide range of interests. Later adding molecular biology into the mix, McCauley’s experiences and knowledge led him to his current diverse career. McCauley discusses some of the work he does for Singularity, helping to advise startups, Fortune 500 companies, and governments, and working with the players who are at the leading edge of biotechnology.
McCauley discusses some of the advanced work/projects he is involved with. He provides some details on a genetic engineering manifesto and his desire to work with companies that are doing good work. McCauley talks about recent new genetic engineering work and the ethical questions that some raise, specifically citing a Chinese project that made world headlines. He discusses some of these bigger issues, such as if a company does work in an area of genetic engineering or other area that is for their net gain, what are the repercussions and how could their work perhaps affect all of us, negatively?
McCauley talks about world population, and food supplies/diet, delving into the specific diets of various nations globally. Specifically, he discusses the global demand for protein and meat and how that is affecting the planet. He analyzes it as a global problem, discussing the fact that it is probably unrealistic to think we will stop eating meat globally, or that we’ll cut down all the rainforests to open up more grazing lands, so there needs to be a different way to meet the food supply-demand. He states it’s a trade problem and an ecological problem. McCauley’s work is at the center of this and many other diverse, global problems, working to find solutions that benefit humanity and are also ecologically sound.