Rethinking Biology – A Conversation with Michael Levin

Broadcast on APRIL 17, 2024 – Watch the video below

Join distinguished scientist and pioneering biologist Michael Levin and Future of Being Human initiative Director Andrew Maynard for a conversation around Michaels ground breaking work and thinking on organ regeneration, “bodyplan” redesign, engineering proto-organisms, and more.


Broadcast Tuesday April 17, 2024, 3:10 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time


Michael Levin

Michael Levin is the Vannevar Bush Distinguished Professor of Biology at Tufts University, and associate faculty at Harvard’s Wyss Institute. He serves as the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts and the co-director of the Institute for Computationally Designed Organisms at Tufts/UVM.

Michael has published over 400 peer-reviewed publications across developmental biology, computer science, and philosophy of mind. Dr. Levin received dual B.S. degrees in computer science and biology, followed by a Ph.D. from Harvard with Clifford Tabin. His graduate work on the molecular basis of left-right asymmetry (Cell 1995) was chosen by the journal Nature as a “Milestone in Developmental Biology in the last century”.

He did post-doctoral training at Harvard School of Medicine in cell biology, and started his independent lab in 2000, developing the first molecular tools to read and write bioelectric prepatterns in non-neural tissue. His group at Tufts works to understand information processing and problem-solving across scales, in a range of naturally evolved, synthetically engineered, and hybrid living systems.

The Levin lab has pioneered approaches to organ regeneration, cancer reprogramming, non-genetic modification of the bodyplan, and the engineering of novel living proto-organisms. Using tools from behavioral and computer science, Dr. Levin seeks to understand the collective intelligence of cells and harness their problem-solving capacities for applications in birth defects, regeneration, cancer, and synthetic bioengineering.

The Levin LabProfile

Andrew Maynard (Host)

Andrew is a scientist, author, Professor of Advanced Technology Transitions, and founder of Arizona State University’s Future of Being Human community. He studies the future and how our actions influence it.


About The Future of Being Human … Unplugged

The Future of Being Human … Unplugged is a series of live streamed conversations that bring together experts and thinkers from very different backgrounds as they explore some of the more intriguing, complex, and profound implications of rapidly developing technological capabilities.

Unscripted, unpredictable, and threaded through with mischievously curiosity, Unplugged aims to push the bounds of how we think about the intersection between advanced technologies, cutting edge science, and the very essence of what it might mean to be human in the future.

And the “Unplugged” bit? We’re unplugging from the usual norms and expectations that so often make online discussions deadly tedious, so no interminable PowerPoint presentations, no long winded opening statements, and no impenetrable monologues – just compelling conversation that’ll make you think.

We’re also unplugging from conventional ideas and often-stifling disciplinary constraints as we explore futures that are anything but conventional.

In other words, expect conversations that engage, entertain, and shake up your world as we explore what it might mean to be human in a technologically complex future!