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In the 21st century, powerful technologies have been appearing at a breathtaking pace—related to the internet, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and more. They have amazing potential upsides, but we can’t ignore the risks that come with them.

Hosted by scientist Eric Lander and in partnership with the Boston Globe, Brave New Planet is a podcast about amazing new technologies that might dramatically improve our world, or, if we don’t make wise choices, could leave us a lot worse off. Brave New Planet is a podcast that delves deep into the most exciting and challenging scientific frontiers, helping us understand them and grapple with their implications.

Dr. Eric Lander, former president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician who was a leader of the Human Genome Project and for eight years served as a science advisor to the White House for President Obama. 

He’s also the host of Brave New Planet, and he’s talked to leading researchers, journalists, doctors, policy makers, activists, and legal experts to illuminate how this generation’s choices will shape the future as never before.

Brave New Planet was recorded and released publicly in 2020. Now that host Eric Lander is on leave and has plenty of important policy questions on his plate, a group of staff members at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are independently maintaining the website, sharing resources with educators, and managing Brave New Planet’s social media channels.

Brave New Planet is a partnership between the Broad Institute, Pushkin Industries, and the Boston Globe, with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Eric Lander

Eric Lander is the former president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, currently on an unpaid, academic leave-of-absence from his faculty positions at Broad, MIT and Harvard. A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, he has played a pioneering role in the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome. He was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project.

A professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, Lander has also served as a science advisor to the federal government in both Democratic and Republican administrations, including serving for eight years as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for President Obama.

Lander has received many awards for his scientific work, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Gairdner Foundation Award, Dan David Prize, and Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.


Brave New Planet was developed and produced by Rebecca Lee Douglas. She studied English literature at Barnard College and Oxford University, always with an underlying passion for science writing and storytelling. Rebecca has a master’s from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and she produces radio shows and podcasts about science, psychology, and human behavior. She enjoys hiking, horror films, and stand-up comedy.

Special thanks to Christine Heenan and Rachel Roberts at Clarendon Communications, Lee McGuire, Kristen Zarrelli, Scott Sassone and Justine Levin-Allerhand at the Broad, Mia Lobel and Heather Fain at Pushkin Industries and Mary Dooe.