On this morning’s edition of Exploration, Michio Kaku has Dr. Robert Lanza on the show to discuss the future of biotechology. Later, it’s a chat with Lester Brown on the state of our planet.
About the featured guests:
Robert Paul Lanza (born 11 February 1956) is an American medical doctor, scientist, Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT)and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Robert Paul Lanza was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up south of there, in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Lanza “altered the genetics of chickens in his basement”, and came to the attention of Harvard Medical School researchers when he appeared at the university with his results. Jonas Salk, B. F. Skinner, and Christiaan Barnard mentored Lanza over the next ten years.Lanza attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving BA and MD degrees. There, he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a University Scholar. Lanza was a Fulbright Scholar. He currently resides in Clinton, Massachusetts.
Lester Russel Brown (born March 28, 1934) is a United States environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day calls him “one of the great pioneer environmentalists.”
Brown is the author or co-author of over 50 books on global environmental issues and his works have been translated into more than forty languages. His most recent book is Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, which was released in September of 2012.
Brown emphasizes the geopolitical effects of fast-rising grain prices,noting that “the biggest threat to global stability is the potential for food crises in poor countries,” and one that could “bring down civilization.” In Foreign Policy magazine, he describes how the “new geopolitics of food” has, in 2011, already begun to contribute to revolutions and upheaval in various countries.
The recipient of 26 honorary degrees and a MacArthur Fellowship, Brown has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.” As early as 1978, in his book The Twenty-Ninth Day, he was already warning of “the various dangers arising out of our manhandling of nature…by overfishing the oceans, stripping the forests, turning land into desert.”In 1986, the Library of Congress requested his personal papers noting that his writings “have already strongly affected thinking about problems of world population and resources,” while president Bill Clinton has suggested that “we should all heed his advice.” In 2003 he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.
In the mid-1970s, Brown helped pioneer the concept of sustainable development, during a career that started with farming. Since then, he has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including, the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, the 1989 World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal, and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize for his “contributions to solving global environmental problems.” In 1995, Marquis Who’s Who selected Brown as one of its “50 Great Americans.” He was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Italy and was appointed an honorary professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He lives in Washington, D.C.