Mark Twain's New Book, Ethics, Evolution and Pest Control
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 660
- Oct 13, 2017 11:00 pm
- 1:41:48 mins
Mark Twain Has New Book Out Guests: Philip Stead, Caldecott Winner, Co-Author (with Mark Twain), “The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine”; Robert Hirst, PhD, General Editor, Mark Twain Project and Curator, Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley Mark Twain has just published his first story for young children. Yes, he’s long-dead, but the new book bearing his name is based on an unfinished fable recently discovered among Twain’s papers. It’s a story about a poor boy who eats a magic flower and can suddenly speak to animals. Mark Twain apparently told the story to his young daughters as a bedtime tale and liked it enough to jot down the outline in his journal. But he left off the ending. . . What good is a fable without an ending? That is where Philip Stead comes in. Robert Hirst has been conversing with Mark Twain for more than 40 years through the reams upon reams of written material the author left behind. We get his reaction to Twain and Stead's "collaboration" and find out an insider's perpective on Twain's irascible (but surprisingly tender) genius. Why We Need Safer Mosquitoes Guest: Catherine Hill, PhD, Professor of Entomology, Purdue University Mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, Zika, and malaria, making them one of the deadliest pests on earth. Most of us would be perfectly happy to see them wiped off the planet. And entomologist Catherine Hill at Purdue University spent 20 years working on that before she decided her quest would have unintended consequences. She now believes it’s important to proceed cautiously when looking to eradicate pests. Using CRISPR to Fight Mouse-Borne Disease Guest: Kevin Esvelt, PhD, Evolutionary Biologist, Director at Sculpting Evolution Lab, Massachusetts Institute for Technology If we could wipe out mosquitos that carry malaria and Zika, why wouldn’t we? Or, what if scientists could alter the DNA of wild mice so they and all their offspring are immune to Lyme Disease and couldn’t pass it to ticks that could no longer pass it to humans and voila no more Lyme Disease? Brilliant! That technology exists and Kevin Esvelt could do it. But before he goes tinkering with nature in such a big way, he’s trying to make sure we’ve thought through the consequences.