Biological Futures in a Globalized World is a program of research and teaching projects hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities in partnership with the Center for Biological Futures (CBF) at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Program on Values in Society (POV) at the University of Washington.

The goal of this initiative is to develop an interdisciplinary network of scholars and scientists to foster better thinking about the dramatic growth in biological knowledge, its increasing use to manipulate living systems, and its consequent impact on human affairs.

Our projects include:


Project Rationale

The 20th century and first years of the 21st have been characterized by staggering increases in biological knowledge, and by increasing worldwide use of that knowledge to manipulate and build living systems. The range of urgent and emerging issues that need attention include:

  • the risks associated with expanded public access to engineered biological organisms;
  • the impact of human manipulation of the biosphere for food and fuel;
  • responses to infectious disease;
  • the implications of advances in understanding genome sequence and reproductive technology.


Project News

Rethinking Research: What's Ethics Got to Do With It? (Perspectives, May 2013)

“Scientists evaluate ethics behind flu research” (The Daily, February 11, 2013)

KUOW Weekday February 6, 2013: Steve Sher interview with Gaymon Bennett (from 29:00 – 39:40)

More News Items