#cvg2015: Episode IV, A New Hope

It’s the last day of Convergence! We partied into the wee hours last night, and now comes the dreaded time when we have to break down and clean up the party room. It’s going to be drudgery all morning.

But I’m not done with the con! I have two science panels this afternoon before I can escape.

At 12:30 in Atrium 7, we’re discussing Human Augmentation.

We may not be able to fly or record our lives with memory implants, but existing developments are exciting, from 3D printed hands to mind-controlled exoskeletons and neuroprosthetics. We’ll discuss the latest advances and what’s possible for the future. Panelists: PZ Myers, Christopher Hunter, Tim Shank, Brian McEvoy, Cassandra Phoenix

At 3:30, it’s time for Genetic Engineering: From Fiction to Fact, in Atrium 7 again.

Dystopian books, movies and video games are filled with genetic engineering nightmares, from Oryx and Crake to Gattaca and Bioshock. We’ll discuss how much of this fiction is becoming fact (and the implications) in the growing field of synthetic biology. Panelists: Kris Coulter, PZ Myers, Ross Conklin

I’m also going to have say goodbye to my daughter and son-in-law, who have been tending bar all weekend and making sushi, and will be driving back to Colorado; my oldest son is heading back to St Cloud after his long weekend as a party gopher; and the middle son has a few more days with us before he flies back to Korea. I think we’re all going to sleep well tonight.


  1. magistramarla says

    PZ is now learning what the empty nest is really like.
    We get to see the kids (and grandkids) occasionally and then they return to their own lives.
    We’ve actually found that we like our quiet lives after we all part company.

  2. brett says

    I wish I could be there for both of those panels, because they sound absolutely fascinating.

    I know they’re working on trying to “print” organs right now, although it’s still in development – they’ve printed stuff like skin and some hollow organs/tracheas, but nothing complex yet. Presumably they might be able to print an arm or leg in the future, so does that mean that medical prosthetics will drastically shrink in the future? I can imagine internal ones for health purposes, and temporary limbs until you get another arm/leg printed.

    I’m pretty positive on genetic engineering, then the proper response should be to try and make that available for everyone, not to ban or curtail it because of “designer babies” fears.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sleep well PZ. Don’t set the alarm, if you use one. We all need a little extra every now and then.

  4. michaelvieths says

    How’d the Genetic Engineering panel go? I had to go tear down gaming on the 22nd floor, so I missed it.