Michael Rogers


Michael Rogers was the only journalist at the Asilomar Conference without substantial science writing credentials. And his audience didn’t purchase Rolling Stone to read about restriction enzymes (Stevie Wonder was on the cover of the Asilomar issue). Thus, his focus became the human element of the recombinant DNA controversy. Looking back, Asilomar remains an apt distillation of the tensions at the intersection of science and society. There are the constants of human nature: self-interest vs. social good, fear vs. opportunity, control vs. inclusivity. Other elements have changed, notably media infrastructure, popular perception of science and corporate influence. If anthropology was initially a journalistic device, it has become Rogers’ lens for broader questions about science and society. Synthetic biology, AI and geoengineering are more than matters of public safety or policy. They are questions of evolutionary direction; how do we best progress as a species? Asilomar was the opening chapter of that quest.

Michael Rogers is a best-selling author, technology pioneer and futurist, who also recently served as futurist-in-residence for The New York Times. His consultancy, Practical Futurist, has worked with companies ranging from FedEx, Boeing and NBCUniversal to Microsoft and Pfizer, focusing on how organizations can think about the future in useful ways. He speaks to audiences worldwide and is a regular guest on radio and television. Rogers began his career as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. He co-founded Outside magazine and then launched Newsweek’s technology column, winning numerous journalism awards. For 10 years, he was vice president of The Washington Post Company’s new media division, leading both the newspaper and Newsweek into the new century and earning patents for multimedia technology, as well as awards for his online coverage of 9/11. He is also a best-selling novelist whose books have been published worldwide, chosen for the Book-of-the-Month club and optioned for film. His latest novel is “Email From the Future: Notes From 2084.”

View Rolling Stone article

De Lange Conference



Scientia MS–8 | P.O. Box 1892 | Houston, TX 77251-1892