Shannon Nangle


In a world driven by speed, and for some, acceleration, we are facing a narrowing window of time to consider the consequences of our actions and inactions. In this talk, Nangle hopes to pose, if not answer, a series of questions on how we can ensure resilience as a species: How should we think about the resources available to us, especially time, and how should we ethically consider efficient resource use — a key metric in an increasingly uncertain world? Should we be guided more by progress or by a shared telos when considering the motivations for developing novel technologies? How can we align the incentives of prevailing economic systems with the future of humanity? And, as we have set ourselves on a path, one that is both strange and difficult, can we summon the best of our humanity in time?

Shannon Nangle is the co-founder and CEO of Circe and has been building out its technology for the past six years. Circe is a carbon transformation platform that converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen into chemicals on demand through the use of fermentation and synthetic biology. Circe spun out of her postdoc research while in Pam Silver’s lab at Harvard University, where she focused on engineering microbes, building electrochemistry rigs and customizing fermentation systems. Prior to joining the lab, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where she studied crystallography and structural biology of protein complexes. She is a former Activate Fellow, has her work featured in the MIT Museum and was named an MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 in 2022. When she’s not fundraising, Nangle indulges in surrealist cinema, absurdist literature, and upon Camus’ suggestion, giving all to the present.

De Lange Conference


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