Weird Science: Joe Davis - The Mad Scientist of Harvard and MIT

Jul 25 2016 19:30 - 21:30

Second Home, 68-80 Hanbury St, E1 5JL London

Bringing the idea of a true Renaissance Man into the 21st Century, Joe Davis works at the intersection of synthetic biology, philosophy and art. Skilled in almost every technical subject, widely read on world literature, and standing on an aluminium peg-leg fitted with a rubber stopper meant for a biology flask, Davis sees the laboratory as the ultimate playground.

Davis works in the lab of renowned biologist, George Church, at Harvard, and has invented an optical microscope that can pick up the acoustic signatures of bacteria, but no one had bothered to listen to. He has documented E. coli's responses to Jazz, and invented a bacterially-grown radio and a frog-leg powered airplane. He developed a bio-chemically inert genetic code to embed Greek poetry into the DNA of white-eyed flies and the image of the Milky Way into the ear of a mouse. He has modified fishing rods to catch paramecia in petri dishes, beamed the sounds of human genitalia to other planets, and created silkworms that extrude gold threads for use in cleaning up nuclear reactors.

Davis' latest project is the simple task of encoding wikipedia - the knowledge of all humanity - into a living apple, thus creating the “twice-forbidden fruit in a literal tree of knowledge”.

Either a genius scientist masquerading as an artist, or otherwise the most brilliant conman that ever lived, Joe Davis is at the very least worth spending an evening with.

Free ticket

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