Can Biotech Be Harnessed?

Richard Haass and Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Institute, discuss the future of biotechnology and its potential impact on food production, climate change, energy production, and medicine.

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  • Richard Haass
    President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
Episode Guests
  • Michelle McMurry-Heath
    President and CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Show Notes

About this episode 


Biotechnology promises breakthroughs on various global challenges, but some observers think the risks of bioterrorism and other misuse outweigh the benefits. In this episode of Nine Questions for the World, Richard Haass and Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, discuss the future of biotech and its potential roles in food security, the fight against climate change, energy production, and medicine. 


This podcast series was originally presented as “The 21st Century World: Big Challenges and Big Ideas,” an event series in celebration of CFR’s centennial. This episode is based on a live event that took place on September 29, 2021.


See the corresponding video here.


Dig Deeper


From Michelle McMurry-Heath


In the Fight Against Climate Change, Don’t Overlook Biotech,” International Business Times


From CFR 


Claire Felter, “A Guide to Global COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts


Read More


Peter Sullivan, “Biotech group head juggles COVID-19 and drug pricing push,” The Hill


Stephanie Nolen, “Here’s Why Developing Countries Can Make mRNA Covid Vaccines,” New York Times 


Spencer Bokat-Lindell, “Can Lab-Grown Burgers Help Stop Climate Change?,” New York Times 


Ellen Nakashima, “U.S. officials caution companies about risks of working with Chinese entities in AI and biotech,” Washington Post


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Exploring the Business of Longevity,” New York Times

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