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Summary

From the former president of MIT, the story of the next technology revolution and how it will change our lives. 

A century ago, discoveries in physics came together with engineering to produce an array of astonishing new technologies: radios, telephones, televisions, aircraft, radar, nuclear power, computers, the internet, and a host of still-evolving digital tools. These technologies so radically reshaped our world that we can no longer conceive of life without them. 

Today, the world's population is projected to rise to well over 9.5 billion by 2050, and we are currently faced with the consequences of producing the energy that fuels, heats, and cools us. With temperatures and sea levels rising and large portions of the globe plagued with drought, famine, and drug-resistant diseases, we need new technologies to tackle these problems. But we are on the cusp of a new convergence, argues world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Hockfield, with discoveries in biology coming together with engineering to produce another array of almost inconceivable technologies - next-generation products that have the potential to be every bit as paradigm-shifting as the 20th century's digital wonders. 

The Age of Living Machines describes some of the most exciting new developments and the scientists and engineers who helped create them. Virus-built batteries. Protein-based water filters. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles. Mind-reading bionic limbs. Computer-engineered crops. Together they highlight the promise of the technology revolution of the 21st century to overcome some of the greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges of our time.

©2019 Susan Hockfield (P)2019 Recorded Books

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  • David
  • 19-05-19

Interesting content, but...

While I found Dr. Hockfield’s points and examples very important and agreed with virtually all her conclusions, the book’s narrative seemed weak. Possibly a stronger editorial hand would have added structure to her thesis. The use of “I” and “my” was distracting.
The narration was stiff at points, with the narrator pausing before names and scientific terms.

157 people found this helpful

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  • Rincewind
  • 08-11-19

Meh

It's frustrating reading a scientist's writing. They must feel the urge to cite everyone in the field instead of telling us about the topic. Tell the story. The author's story gets lost in rattling off who's who in the field. I got lost too and couldn't finish the book.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G2
  • 28-10-19

Good information. Poor delivery.

The information in this audiobook has a potential to be rich and insightful, but the reader felt clippy, abrupt, and seemed to pause and break in such strange places in a sentence, it was hard to keep focus.

I am sure the reader is a fine actress, but it felt like she knew nothing about this topic and therefore came across as insincere - for lack of better words - and just seemed to be reading words rather than delivering an interesting story to the listeners.

4 people found this helpful

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  • sajeev varki
  • 26-10-19

Not worth it.

Very light on content. Author is in thrall of being a former president of MIT and narrates some interactions she had as an administrator with some scientists. Had a tough time getting through the book for lack of scientific detail.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Emerson Fortier
  • 22-10-19

boring

this is not a book about the exciting future of technology. this is a book about the newest MIT president's vision of her role at MIT. if you give two poops about MITs future, or find the pedantic history of its presidents visions of futures like our own, maybe you'll find it interesting. I wanted to hear about sweet new tech ideas, and instead, i got a message to the inner board members or directors or whoever, of MIT. not interesting. mostly boring. in its defense i didnt finish it. then again, it's pretty poor defense. will be returning.

8 people found this helpful

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  • George Spelvin
  • 19-02-20

Just not feeling it.

I'm not a science guy, but I am interested in the topic. This promised far more than it delivered. I found a lot of the information rather dry; no offense to the science community but it was just too... textbook. And the woman reading it has a lovely voice, but they recorded most of her inhalations, which were almost always preceded by a pause. So it got to the point that where I felt like I wasn't listening to anything but just waiting for the narrator's next inhalation. This is a technical issue -- they should have had her breathe "off-mic" but... c'mon. Recording 101.

I'd swap it out if I could, but... as far as I can see... I can't. Really not a book for the curious reader trying to get a broader understanding of the topic. Downright dull in places.

3 people found this helpful

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  • markhill
  • 05-11-19

Fancy title - no substance

waste of time, no information, just accolades to professors. No wonder our education system is failing

6 people found this helpful

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  • MemorizingPharmacology
  • 29-10-19

A long MIT Advertisement with interesting stories

You'll enjoy the stories and the novel work they are doing at MIT, but it's clearly a president who lauds her college without any of the conflicts or challenges that make a great story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 23-10-19

Good Overview

I had been aware of all the innovations discussed in the book but liked that author presented the process of each, past present and potential future. Especially liked her summary for the future - hope that solutions to problems that effect us all can be solved, caution about lack of government funding and the current strangle hold on immigration which are already having a negative impact on our future as a nation of leaders and innovators.

I disliked the narration, slow and annoying, I almost quit the book until I increased the speed to 1.25 (which I have never done before). Despite loss of normal intonation it allowed me to bear through the audio.

4 people found this helpful

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  • xivera
  • 19-05-20

the perfect read right now!

This book was a fantastic layman's terms read about the sciences getting together and creating our future.

1 person found this helpful