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Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert experts on expert I'm Walter Cronkite and I'm joined by Lesley Stahl. Hello there.


She tells me exactly. Thank you. Oh my gosh.


Speaking of speaking of Spino, I did get some schmeer on you. There's a documentary on Audrey Hepburn. Oh. And I started it.


And she kind of has a similar voice to Katharine Hepburn like.


Oh, that. Well, no. Oh, OK.


Listen, this is this is disrespectful to our guests because we have an incredible guest, you know, just one of the best biographers, one of the best biographers in the biz. His name is Walter Isaacson. Walter is an American author, journalist and professor. He's been the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C., the chair and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME. You wanna talk about a polymaths?


You're talking about Walter. Now, his books, Steve Jobs, very huge famous book, Bill Gates favorite book, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin.


And he has a new book called The Codebreaker. The Genius at the center of the Codebreaker is American biochemist and Nobel Peace winner Jennifer Doudna. This is a fascinating story. It is. This is the story of CRISPR. This is a story of CRISPR and editing. Yes.


And it's fascinating. So buckle up for Walter Isaacson.


He's not sure. Charles. We're very excited to talk to you. This is gonna be cool. Yeah, where are you at in the world? New Orleans. Oh, because you teach at Tulane? Yeah, I teach at Tulane.


Where are you? We are in Los Angeles, California, we're getting a very rare inclement weather day, so it's if there's a blizzard today because it's gray.


Oh, well, it's warm and 70 something degrees here. And the French Quarter is noisy because people are coming for Mardi Gras, even though they shouldn't be rock so bad.


Do you live downtown? We live right on Royal Street, right in the heart of the French Quarter. So you're going to hear, even though I've put up muffling things, you're probably going to hear a marching band or two sit someone.


And I hope so. Maybe we should just pause the interview and you can take your computer to the window so we can see, yeah, that balcony is right over Royal Street. Oh, wow.


Now, see, I was going to guess that you lived around Tulane because I had gone several times to New Orleans. And how do I say this gently? Well, I'm sober. There you go. There's the problem. So I never loved it, but my wife worked there. She shot a movie there and we rented a place that was directly across the street from Tulane. Oh, cool. That area I fell in love with. There's so many great restaurants and it's so quaint.


Yeah, I take the streetcar every day. I go to work and so goes right up St. Charles Avenue, get to read the paper and get to Tulane and then come back to the French quarters. What a life.


Yeah, I'm envious of that. Although ours is pretty darn good too. I'm not going to. We're all looking. They're doing OK. Yeah.


You know, we're all we do lucky but speaking also someone who's way too lucky and has a great life. Bill Gates.


When we had him on, I listened to the radio. And you heard yourself. Yeah. Yeah.


He threw something about Leonardo for which he sent us copies of the book. Oh, well, it was Leonardo and he sent us copies that he had signed for us. So we are in your debt.


Well, you know, when I get to Los Angeles, I'll sign it as well. And you'll have the only copy of Leonardo signed by me.


And I know he said something about the Steve Jobs one. I can't remember what he told you. I suspect he didn't send you that one. I think he had a little bit more mixed feelings.


We didn't get that one, to be honest. When I had that conversation with him about jobs, it was not what I was expecting. I was nervous to even bring it up. And I guess I loved where we landed that he did have full admiration for him being more an Imagineer, if you will, like not necessarily a computer guy like he is, but an incredible creative mind that Apple could not have happened without him.


And, yeah, he was he gave him a lot of credit.


If you get to the end of the jobs book, there's a section on Steve dying and Bill wanting to come to Palo Alto. And he comes and he sits there and I help arrange it. And Bill comes and has a two hour talk with him sitting by Steve's bed. And it was supposed to be a perfect ending to the book, but typical of Steve. He afterwards told me that Bill Gates was an asshole.


So in the end, I said, oh, wow.


Oh, that is so I'm very good for him. Right to the end on Brand, I read jobs and I loved it, of course.


And I guess the thing I appreciate is on here, we're always trying to point out that there are people that have spectacular gifts and then they also have spectacular misgivings and character defects. And there is no such thing as a perfect person. That's something we're very interested in continually perpetuating that like we're all multifaceted and we all have some hiccups. So I loved that yours was like both celebratory and critical of him as a person. I found that kind of refreshing in a biography.


It's important to remember that all people are human, and especially when you're a biographer. That's the whole point of it. And we have that problem in our society. All of a sudden we can't figure out, do we like Thomas Jefferson or not or do we like Abraham Lincoln or not? And I've had to wrestle with some really mixed characters, mainly people like Jim Watson, who wrote The Double Helix. But really, anybody has got strengths and weaknesses.


And the important thing is not simply to say, OK, I admire the strange, but I also understand the flaws. It's also important to see how they're interwoven because a lot of times what makes Steve Jobs great also made him a pain to deal with. And everybody in my Steve Jobs book says he sometimes drove me crazy, but he drove me to do things I never thought I'd be able to do, and I'd never, ever give up the chance to have worked for him.


So Steve Jobs comes off great in the book, even as you see the multiple strands of his personality that are woven together. Yeah, I think, well, A, it's just comforting to know that people are equally flawed or some more or less than others, but I think. When you do what you did, it actually permits us to celebrate the things we appreciate about the person. So to anyone writing a future Picasso biography, it's incumbent upon them to address this ugly side of him that we all have to wrestle with.


I think the only way we have to get rid of all these people is if we just try to whitewash it and just focus on what was good. But I think if we do the whole 360 degree picture, we can keep them around, if that makes any sense.


But they also can be a lot more inspiring when you realize that they're human beings and that they have some flaws and weaknesses as you do, and they put their trousers on one leg at a time. And even a Benjamin Franklin, who's the closest to the coolest guy I've ever written about, he sort of leaves his wife behind and goes to England, sets up another household, has an incredibly bad falling out with his son over the revolution. His son stays a loyalists and they never fully reconcile.


It's a really rich tapestry. And I think you end up appreciating Ben Franklin more, knowing that he had these human frailties. And by the way, that's true of everything from Einstein to Steve Jobs, especially to Leonardo da Vinci.


And then with my new book, it's interesting because I read a ton of biographies. I love them for whatever reason. I love them. And it's funny how I can get colored by the ancillary characters in the protagonist story. So you just brought up Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. And I recognize I have kind of a bad taste in my mouth about both those guys, primarily because I love McCullough and I've read the John Adams book, which doesn't paint either of them favorably.


And yet I haven't gone all the way in on a biography that might paint the whole picture for them. But yeah, when I think of Ben Franklin, I think he was in France, right. In Paris. They're trying to get some help. And he wakes up at 2:00 in the afternoon and he doesn't like, does it, completely different work style than John Adams.


But by the way, as much as I love David McCullough, he's my mentor. Remember, they kicked John Adams out of France. He gets called a person and I'm glad he has to go to Holland. And it's Ben Franklin who gets up in the afternoon, has wonderful salons at his place and possibly on the outskirts of Paris. He's the one who gets French in on our side of the revolution. So you got to read the Ben Franklin along with the John Adams.


And you can see two characters who had a grudging admiration for each other, but they were quite different in their personalities, just like we talked about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs being.


So, yeah, we spent a lot of time when we were talking to Bill about the last dance, the Michael Jordan documentary. Did you watch that?


No, I'm trying to say I haven't, but I am an enormous Michael Jordan fan, so now I'll go watch it.


So you'd love it then. It's fantastic. It's one of the best documentary series ever been made. A sports one for sure. And Monica, who could have cared less about basketball per say. Now, I love basketball.


Well, you got to after that one by one. Michael Jordan's story is when I was at Time magazine, he was playing in that playoff games with the Bulls and they were playing on a Sunday night. And it was the last game of the series. And it was going to be his last game in basketball. And we had to print the magazine on Saturday night. And I made the gamble that they were going to win. We printed the magazine Saturday night.


It was on newsstands Sunday, and it had Michael Jordan on the cover. We'll never see his like again. And it had to curl up in a fetal position as I listen to the game on Sunday, because they almost lost.


But he won it in the last was his call I ever made.


I want to talk, of course, at length about the Codebreaker, which I say I'm a third of the way through and I'm absolutely loving. But your own story is as fascinating to me because your New Orleans born, you go to Harvard. I'm thrilled to know that you wrote on the Harvard Lampoon because you are so multifaceted. You're a Rhodes Scholar, but you wrote in the Lampoon and you were editor of Time, then CNN, all these things.


So I find you very fascinating.


I think you may be the only person who feels that way. No, I think Bill Gates do.


Well, that's nice of him. He's an amazing guy, Gates. You know, somebody who can make a pivot in the middle of his life to not only to be the most impactful person in terms of technology, but then in terms of global health and education. Those of us who write biographies don't live under the misapprehension that we are people that biography should be written about. We know where the people writing about the cool people in the arena well know I've started my nine.


You so just know it's forthcoming. I got to just ask because my all time favorite biography is titled. Did you read Titan?


Yeah, of course. Yeah, I've read tightenings. Very, very good. Titan which is. My favorite, and I'm obsessed with Rockefeller, the parallels now between he and Gates are so similar in the trajectory of their lives.


It's totally fascinating because you even have the greatest to antitrust trials in American history, your Standard Oil antitrust trial in the early nineteen hundreds and then US v. Microsoft. And it's in some ways the same issue, which is a totally founder driven company that creates dominance in one field and then leverages it to perhaps hurt competition in adjacent fields. Very complicated legal issue, but the case has both. I do think knowing Bill Gates a little bit, Bill Gates is a nicer, more decent human being, I think, than John D.


Rockefeller was.


Yeah, I got I got rose colored glasses on with Rockefeller. I just think he was so special. Also the context, you know, the year in which he's deciding I'm going to commit a lot of capital to educating black Americans, that I see this gap. That's not a popular thing for a white dude to do in nineteen hundred.


And by the way, when we talk about CRISPR gene editing in covid, you look at Rockefeller University, which he created in New York. That's just pure translational research and basic research. And you think, wow, that was pretty visionary as well.


Yeah, there was no such thing as research medicine. There were just practitioners. Right. I mean, it's so fascinating. I just want to put your mind at ease. I really am going to talk about codebreakers a lot. But you're a Rhodes scholar.


You have kind of a twisty turny path. You almost remind me of the gentleman who runs the Broad Institute that we interviewed, Eric Lander, the great new head of the president's science office.


Eric is a character in the Codebreaker because he's the competing team from the Jennifer Doudna Emanuel show up in Gene.


And they're both really cool teams. Eric's at the board of MIT, Harvard and has this China born. I'll raise Cornfed wonderful guy named Fong Zhang. And they both are able to use this new technology called CRISPR to edit human genes and they get into a patent war. So I deeply love Eric and I've always admired him. I'm so glad he's going to run science for President Biden. But he's in the book as sort of the competing team. So it's a race.


You even point out in your book Codebreaker, that even like Darwin had all of his information and his theory, but it was so heretical that he probably wouldn't have been pushed to publish other than competition presented itself. Right.


When Wallace comes up with an incentive, a paper says, hey, I've come up with this theory. Darwin feels, oops, I'm about to get scooped. And they have something that's really interested in science. I hope it comes through in the code breaker, which is that there's a perfect mix of competition and cooperation. You know, you're all in it together. Yeah. And you say, all right, we're competitors, but we know we have some special bond because we're in it together.


And that's what happens with Darwin, of course, and Russell and then Jennifer Down and Emmanuelle Charpentier, they're the ones who win the Nobel Prize. And Dowden is the hero of my book. But there's an interesting relationship because they're competing with the guys at MIT.


Yeah, but his life, you're not at any point going to be able to predict where he is going to end up. And I would argue that you have a similar trajectory. Was the course through Harvard and then Oxford, was that always with the intention of becoming a journalist?


Oh, no, I had no clue of what I was going to do. And yeah, I was a Rhodes Scholar. But with all due respect to the Rhodes Committee, I was from Louisiana. It was a little bit easier because they have geographic distribution. So I think it was a bit easier. I was shucking oysters in an oyster bar one block away on bourbon when I was being interviewed for it.


And here's the weird thing. I'm in my sixties now. I'm still trying to figure out what am I going to be when I grow up?


Yeah, I think that's the key component to being endlessly productive and creative.


You know, one thing I do have and the roads helped a little bit, but we're at TIME magazine watching people like Bill Gates. I just have a great curiosity. I mean, I love the way Leonardo da Vinci had that he just walk around. It's puzzling. Why is the sky blue or whether or not a bird flaps its wings up faster than it flaps him down. And that ability to be curious about ordinary things. I like trying to be curious about everything, about nature, whether it's Lord Byron's poetry or the algorithms written by his daughter, ADA Lovelace.


So having been at Time magazine, which was a general interest magazine, I was called a floater, which meant I do. Music one week, medicine the next week and then foreign policy, that ability to just be curious about all sorts of fields that marks the people I like to write about, meaning Ben Franklin, Leonardo Da Vinci.


And it's the one trait that I have is I'm not a brilliant expert like Bill Gates is in any one particular thing, but I can be fascinated about almost anything on the planet.


Yeah, I have a similar love and interest in just even the most boring thing on my way. Was the electricity getting to my house.


And this is how Jennifer and others start doing what becomes this gene editing tool and this tool that's helped us figure out RNA vaccines? Is it just curious about bacteria, have repeated sequences in their DNA and like, why do bacteria do that? And for years there's just a curiosity driven research. And the cool thing about curiosity is that curiosity lays the groundwork for very practical things. And your dad may say things like quit daydreaming, quit asking so many stupid questions.


But at a certain point, if you're just curious about things that eventually usually leads to some cool applications, and there's no better modern example than these scientists who were just curious about the weirdness of the sequences of DNA and bacteria, and suddenly they discover, well, we can harness this to edit our own human genes and we can harness messenger RNA to be able to build proteins that'll make us immune to the coronavirus. I had my second shot an hour ago, so no celebration.


Yeah. Oh, I'm so jealous media.


I was in the Pfizer trial, which is one of the great RNA trials I started in July. And then after six months, they take your blood and they tell you whether you're a placebo or not. And I was placebo, which that was about a month ago. But part of the thing is they then switch you over to the other part of the trial.


Why it was so just really quick, what gave you the confidence to volunteer for that trial? And in fact, they didn't talk about you on Radiolab, did they? I don't know.


I did talk about being a trial participant on the various places.


Are you the one that decided, yes, I have a five percent greater chance of dying of this in my age group, but I also just in general, have a five percent chance more of dying in my age group was that, you know, there was somebody smarter than I am.


Hey, I'm in New Orleans at the hospital down the road. Here are the first of doing the clinical trial because Louisiana had a pretty high rate. And I love science. I mean, I've written about as I said, I'm signing Leonardo and now Jennifer dead. So I'm one of these weird people. You're talking about conspiracy theories. I'm the opposite. I kind of trust the scientist.


And I kind of knew what RNA did. And I said, man, I'm not going to grow an extra finger. It's not going to be bad. And what the hell participate in citizen science?


Yeah, OK. So I want to frame the code breaker in that the people you seem to do biographies on have a connective tissue. And it's not just that they are innovators, per say, but in general, you seem to be drawn to people who actually create kind of a paradigm shift or a revolution. Einstein, of course, his theories inform physics for the next 50 years. And then Steve Jobs, he leads or is a very instrumental person in a new technology society, which we now currently live in.


And you believe Jennifer is the same, that she in the work she does, is going to lead to a whole revolution in how we experience life on planet Earth? Absolutely.


There've been three great innovation revolutions in modern times and they stem from around nineteen hundred when we discover the three basic particles of our existence, which is the atom, the bit and the gene. So you mentioned Einstein and his 1995 papers. He finally figures out with both relativity and quantum theory how the atom and the internal parts of an atom look. And we have a half century that's driven by physics. And his fingerprints are on so many of the things, everything from the atom bomb to GPS to space travel to semiconducting materials.


Then in the nineteen fifties, you have a beginning of a new revolution based on the fact that all information can be encoded in binary digits, which we now call bits. And so that becomes the digital revolution, which is driven by three separate inventions that come together the computer, the Internet and the microchip. So that the revolution I grew up in, we all grew up in was the. Digital revolution. Now, the next revolution began really in 2000, when we finally sequence the human genome, the Human Genome Project gets finished.


We realize that knowing the DNA is pretty cool, but we need to know how to rewrite it if we want to do anything better. And so that's when Jennifer Doudna and others come in with this understanding of RNA. And so now molecules have become the new microchips, molecules and now the dynamo of the next innovation revolution. And our kids and the students I teach, they don't just need to know how to code digitally. They're going to need to know the genetic code as well.


So I use the book on Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues to show here's the next revolution and here's why. It's kind of useful to know what a molecule is.


Yeah, well, she's I think it's her in the book, I remember her stating understanding how the atom makes molecules and then those molecules are then biology. Like, I think when you learn these things, they seem so separated the way you teach it badly, then.


Yeah, meaning when you kind of start by teaching your biology like in ninth grade, or at least they did to me. And then you get chemistry and then you get physics. But the way it synthesized is better as you figure out how atoms and elements work, then you figure out how those atoms become chemistry and then you figure out how chemistry becomes biology. And the cool thing about watching Jennifer Doudna on this journey of discovery in the Codebreaker is that, you know, she's just a young kid.


And she says, why does the sleeping grass curl when you touch it? What are the mechanisms that causes living things to glow? And she realizes that there are mechanical things almost that are happening inside cells and that translates into biology. And she read the double helix and became fascinated by Rosalind Franklin, the character that doesn't get enough credit for the discovery of the structure of DNA. And she realizes, wow, women can become scientists. And so she tells her high school guidance counselor, I want to be a scientist.


And the high school counselor said, no, girls don't become scientists. And that drove her forward. But she wanted to figure out that basic curiosity of how things work and the idea of there's something joyful in understanding how something works. Oh, and it's particularly joyful when that something is ourselves.


Oh, yeah. I want to back up on her story just for a second, because I think it's so relevant and you parallel it with the way Einstein felt and the way jobs fell.


I don't know how Leonardo da Vinci felt, but another common characteristic of these folks is that they felt like outsiders, that they felt that they were alienated in their surroundings. So in Jennifer's case, her father was a professor. He taught in Hawaii. She was first in a very large public school. And she was, I'm assuming, one of only a few white girls. And she felt very outside and she was bullied and she had this experience. And I just wonder, having observed that in these people.


Do you think you could walk through the mechanics of how that results in their later pursuits? Absolutely. It's a really good insight because being somewhat of an outsider really causes in people a desire to say, I want to understand the cosmos, not one, understand how I fit into it. And let me start with Leonardo, because you said you didn't know if he felt that way. Let me tell you something about Leonardo. As a very young 14 year old, he leaves the village of Vincey to go to the town of Florence.


He is gay. He knows he's gay and he's outwardly gay, which is not that usual. In the late fourteen hundreds in Italy, he's left handed.


He's distracted. He was born illegitimate, and he had all of these characteristics that made him an outsider. And yet he gets embraced by the Medici family and feels like he's both an outsider and an insider. And I think that's sort of the key to things. Certainly Einstein, growing up Jewish in Germany in the 1910s, 1920s, knows what it's like to feel like an outsider. For Jennifer, it's not as strong. Jennifer Doudna, as you said, grew up as a lanky blond girl in an all Polynesian high school in Hilo, Hawaii, and she was called a Haley, which is not quite as bad as it sounds, but it's sort of a slur for well, I'll say it for you.


She was called fucking Whouley quite often. She says, yeah, right.


Well, I don't know, OmniPod.


You know, this is a toilet bowl of curse words, so don't worry.


But anyway, I think when you get curious about how do I fit in to this creation, you do things like Leonardo did, which is draw Vitruvian Man with himself standing naked, spread eagle in the circle of the world, in the square of the cosmos, the greatest drawing of all time. And if you Jennifer, you're just curious, how does all of this work and what is life and how to humans fit into this? And I think you become a rebel or Steve Jobs put it around Peg in a square hole.


He celebrated the misfits, the rebels, people like that. He said people are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. And Steve Jobs likewise was somebody who wasn't sure quite how he fit in because he was adopted and by family. His father was an auto mechanic and he couldn't quite figure out, well, how do I fit into this world? And sometimes felt a bit both rejected and also chosen because he was chosen by his family to be adopted.


So I think that feeling of, OK, let me understand the system better.


We could all use a lot of it. Even those of us who born and raised in New Orleans and felt we fit in, it's really cool to always step back a bit and say, let me try to look at this as an outsider.


Just when you brought up jobs, I'm reminded of that amazing scene in your book where he goes to the restaurant that his father either owned or worked at his birth father's story.


I don't think so.


Jobs is aware of the fact that's his father, right?


Yes. What happens is jobs is always treated correctly. The people who adopted him as his mother and father, he had no particular interest in figuring out who his birth father was, but discovers he has a sister from his birth mother says, you know, you have a sister who turns out to be the famous great novelist, Mona Simpson. So Steve talks to Mona Simpson and Mona Simpson decides to find the lost father who had been a graduate student at University of Wisconsin from Homs, Syria.


And so definitely an outsider and Jobs is able to track him down. Jobs doesn't really want to go see him, but Mona does. Mona tells Steve Jobs who it is. And Jobs realizes that he had met the guy because he used to eat in the guy's restaurant near Palo Alto.


And he said, Do you mean that guy is my father? And Steve then never sat down and talked to him?


Well, and deeper than that, wasn't there also an element that that guy was talking about? Steve Jobs, like was aware of Steve Jobs as the Apple guy?


Oh, well, because Steve had gone into his restaurant and the guy who ran the restaurant, John John is his name is Obrad. You know, even Steve Jobs eats here.


And then at some point he discovers Steve Jobs. My story is tragic.


Oh, well, the book's very tragic in many ways, but yeah. How wild is that? He's aware that his biological dad is proud of having just served him. That is so wild. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare. We are supported by best thing.


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Well, you know, Steve Jobs had this amazing ability both to be an outsider, to be somebody who challenged the status quo, but also to have the confidence of his intuitions. And so he's probably one of the most complicated people of our time. But that made him the most influential genius in terms of creating the things that made the digital revolution. I'm sitting there with my iPhone. That was a transformative device. He transformed movies, retail stores, music, my music.


Listening got transformed when I got to put a thousand songs in my pocket, even the iPad and certainly the Macintosh. All these things are transformative. Likewise, I look at people who are transformative.


Jennifer Doudna will probably do the most transformative thing with her colleagues of anybody of our day and generation, which is make it easy enough to edit the genes of our when we have a genetic problem and more controversially, to edit the genes of our children in a way that will be passed on to all of our descendants. And some of that's really cool because you could probably eliminate sickle cell anemia, which is a single gene mutation. You could probably eliminate Huntington's disease at some point or cystic fibrosis as a simple genetic fix.


Those problems mutations. But you could also start fiddling around with things like height and muscle mass and memory. That's not that hard to do. We've done it in mice. We've done it in cattle. And Jennifer Doudna, after discovering how to do this, has a dream, a nightmare that she gets called into a room to explain how to do it to somebody. And the person looks up from the desk and it's Hitler wearing a pig mask.


And Jennifer realizes, OK, we've created a technology that's a little bit like Prometheus matching fire from the gods or Dr. Frankenstein creating monster. We have to figure out how are we going to set rules of the road for whether rich people can buy better genes for their children, whether we're going to edit out the diversity of our species, you know, whether we're going to edit out things like depression, which, of course, anybody who's ever experienced it or as a family member has would want to edit out.


But what does that do to the diversity of our species?


Well, yeah, in my own case, I was playing one of my daughters would be dyslexic because I come to find out it came with another skill set that I ended up being grateful I had.


That's an absolutely interesting point to make, which is things that we think we might edit out actually come with a different skill set in a way. And I don't just mean that if you edit out the gene for sickle cell anemia, you might be exposed to West Nile virus. I mean that, for example, there are people who are deaf and they're congenitally deaf and it would not be that hard in the future and even now with surgery to make sure that their children weren't born deaf.


But there are people who are congenitally deaf. And when they have children, they try to make sure the preimplantation diagnosis that their kids are deaf because they want them to be part of that same experience. So this is a complex issue. There's a wonderful kid in my book, The Code Breaker, named David Sanchez, young African-American kid. I think he's just about to turn 18. High school has sickle cell anemia and they working on him at Stanford Children's Hospital so that they help the disease stay in check.


And then they say with his gene editing technology, we can make it so you can have your kids and your kids will not inherit sickle cell. And David says, well, that's great, but maybe it should be up to the kid later to decide. And they said, what do you mean you would want your kid to have sickle cell? And he said, well, now, sickle cell was really difficult for me, but it taught me empathy.


It taught me patience. It's taught me compassion. I'm not sure I would be who I am if I didn't have sickle cell. And you could look at, say, other people like Miles Davis had sickle cell. It drove him to drink. It drove him to drugs. It probably drove him to death, but it also drove him to write bitch's brew.


Yeah, different kind of blue. Yeah. And kind of blue. And the question is, how much do we want to edit trades out of our species?


I just want to add you have kind of some heavy lifting on your plate by writing this book, which is you've got to let the reader in on how CRISPR works, which is complicated, is not as complicated as relativity.


I know that's that's that's a great point. Bacteria have been doing it for more than a billion years. So if they can figure it out, we can figure it out.


Yes, but in a nutshell, because you hinted at it a couple of times, but in their studying of bacteria, they saw of these abnormalities in the DNA, right?


Yeah, they were clustered repeated sequences and the DNA of bacteria. And they say, hey, how come these sequences keep repeating? And then they tried to figure out what purpose do they have? And finally they figured out that they contain in between these repeated sequences, little snippets of the genetic material of viruses that had attacked those bacteria. And to what the bacteria do is that's like a mug shot sitting there on their wall when that virus attacks. Again, that CRISPR has a scissors called an enzyme that chops up that virus.


Now, by the way, it adapts to each new virus attack that's kind of useful these days. And so that makes our ears perk up. But it also can be used to cut the DNA of our own cells if we want to change it. And so that's how CRISPR works. And what they were able to do is figure out what are the essential parts of that system, which is simply the repeated sequences and RNA guide, a tiny piece of RNA that guides these scissors to the place it's supposed to cut.


And Jennifer Datin and Emmanuelle Charpentier do that. They win the Nobel Prize a few months ago for it. And then people like Fong Zhang and Eric Lander, along with Jennifer Doudna, then six months later have figured out how do we use it on our own genes. And boy, it's actually not that complicated. It's a beauty of nature that simple.


It is shockingly simple when it's explained to you, because it seems absolutely impossible that we could ever get in there and monkey with the structure of DNA seems. How on earth would that happen? What tools would we use? What can be that microscopic, all these things? But yes, to discover it already existed in nature and could be harnessed for us is so mind blowing.


It really nature is beautiful that way.


Well, you know, even when you were just talking about the different stages of the big revolutions over the last hundred and twenty years, what I was struck by really quickly, maybe you talk about this later in the book, but a computer is binary.


It's ones and zeros. It turns a switch on and turns a switch off. Right. The big pie in the sky fantasy for computers would be that they could be quantum right, that you would introduce two more switches so you'd have four switches and that would infinitely improve the speed and ability of a computer. And as you were talking about computers, I was thinking, well, that is how DNA works. We have four switches, right? We have AC, GTE are those are the right ones.


You know, our body is already kind of operating as a quantum computer, isn't it?


I'm not sure it's a pure quantum computer, but it's obviously infinitely more complex than the binary computers we use. And this is particularly important in my Tulane class here. I teach a history of the digital revolution going to the biotech revolution. And the question is artificial intelligence. And Bill Gates, your great guest that you had one said years ago when I was writing a story about him, he said, you know, we're never going to get artificial intelligence in a binary system on off switches because that's not the way our brain works.


It's a mixture of analog and digital ibrain are things that are waves in our brain, not just synapses. And the best way to get artificial intelligence is not to just get faster and faster computers. It's the reverse engineer the way nature did it by reverse engineering the brain. And then he said, but of course, that would be cheating, although I think. Microsoft did reverse engineer some other people's technology. How dare you talk about he was just wonderful when he talked about artificial intelligence.


I mean, he is the smartest, coolest guy around. But it made me think and that must have been 20 years ago I was reporting that piece, but it made me think, OK, our brains may be fundamentally different than our computers and the molecules in our body, as you said, which are governed by information encoded in genetic material, DNA and RNA, not binary material that our bodies and our molecules are fundamentally different than our microchips. And this is another example of why nature is so beautiful.


Yeah, it truly is. And also to the point, we're going to interview a guy who wrote the original book, Emotional Intelligence today, in fact. And the point he makes is like artificial intelligence. When you think of artificial intelligence, it is a component of intelligence, which is the logical side. But the emotional intelligence that humans have, which is empathy and all the things you've listed that Jennifer exhibits, those can't really be a guide yet.


Yeah, I think there are two schools of thought. Ever since ADA Lovelace in the 1830 said machines will be able to do anything that can be notated in symbols, but they'll never be able to think they won't be able to originate thought in a hundred years later, Alan Turing writes his famous Imitation Game paper saying, Can machines think? And he calls it ADA Lovelace's objection. And he says that Lady Lovelace was wrong.


Now you look at the people in the digital revolution, they're either those who love connecting humans, the machine, the way Steve Jobs did, and those have been more successful than those who have pursued pure artificial intelligence.


Interesting. So they're just the other side is too myopic in it. They're not trying to figure out how to incorporate the human into the experience. Is that what you're saying?


Yeah, I think that incorporating the human in the experience is both good for the experience and it's certainly good for us humans not to leave us behind.


OK, so what is kind of getting well documented is that the technological revolution and the computer revolution, we're seeing kind of where it went, which was largely unpredictable. I think most people that were involved, they weren't mustache twirling, evil people. I think when the person at YouTube wrote the algorithm that figured out how to serve you up, something just a little further down the rabbit hole of fundamentalism, that was kind of an unforeseen outcome, the storming of the Capitol buildings, most certainly a product of the unforeseen outcomes of these machines.


So. CRISPR has that same potential, and you've listed a couple like people will be able to, in theory, design their child if they have the resources to do so. So how do we maximize the utopia that this promises and minimize the many issues that will arise we can't even foresee?


Well, the reason I wrote the Code Breakers is I think that's the most important policy and moral question of our time of the next 10 or 15 years, which is to what extent are we going to use gene editing to change the human species and to change our children and all of our descendants.


So it's difficult to have a lot of rules and regulations because I want to Jennifer does lab and within two days, with the help of two graduates and I edited human cells, I was able to change the DNA in human cells using CRISPR. Now, if I can do it me and to graduate students can a lot of people can do it.


Now, don't worry. We took those cells that I edited and flushed them down the drain with a lot of chlorine so I didn't create a Frankenstein's monster. But two years ago, one of the people who had been to Jennifer Doudna is seminar's guy from China, named her janky, created the first CRISPR babies. He edited the embryos of two twin girls when they were early stage embryos to take out the genes that allow you to build the receptor that allows HIV viruses to come in.


Now, that sounds like an OK thing, but there was a lot of shock and horror that we'd already started editing humans.


We've talked about this person a couple of times. And one, the man did it without the knowledge of the parents, right. If I recall.


Yeah, well, they had consent. The question is whether was informed consent. That's not the biggest problem in my mind.


OK, beyond like the obvious stuff. The thing that keeps smacking me in the face is like, why that thing? I don't understand why that was the thing he decided.


Well, he grew up in a very poor town in China that was wracked by HIV AIDS. And it really did make it so that if you had babies or if you were a father with AIDS, you would be totally shunned. And I mean, in my book and certainly Jennifer talked to him and it was a huge scene in the book where she's confronting him over dinner. I think Jennifer Doudna feels and I feel that he also did it because he thought he would be celebrated as the first person on this planet to edited the human species.


And he thought he would become a hero in China. And so I think he did it for the fame and glory and perhaps fortune, as well as to help this family that wanted to have a baby when they were HIV positive. But who knows these? I mean, that's what I try to explore in the book. And you're going to have people with different motivations. Sometimes they're going to do it just for the money. They'll start offshore clinics where you can have taller children or children with higher muscle mass.


Yeah, that becomes the big threat is the natural selection of all the competing countries and industries that will have different sets of ethical standards and they'll be an arms race. And if we don't do it, OK, great. But they're going to do it down the street, all that stuff. It's so complicated. I think it'd be fascinating for people to know how Jennifer took her work in CRISPR and then turned her sword towards covid when it came about. Absolutely.


At one point, the book opens with the scene. She had just sent her 17 year old son, Andy. She and her husband put them on the train to go to a robotics competition in Fresno. And it was like first week in March of last year. And then she stays up all night worrying because she hears about how they're shutting down parts of the campus, things like that. And she tells her husband, get up, we're going to go drive and pick them up.


And she jumps in the car, too, in the morning, drives to Fresno a couple hours away from Berkeley and picks up the poor.


Kid is an only child and like, you know, like, come on, mom. But on the way out, she got a text saying, all right, the competition has been canceled. Everybody go home. And that's when Jennifer realized that the government was screwing up totally this response to covid and that it would be up to academic scientists to figure out what to do. So the next day, she convenes a meeting of 50 research scientists at Berkeley and the Bay Area, some in person, some by Zoome.


And they start a lot of projects, one to just do a high speed testing lab because it was just amazing, as you remember, how hard it was to get high speed. They also figured out way if bacteria can use CRISPR to remember a virus and then kill it the next time, maybe we can create two things. One, a really good detection technology using CRISPR, but another, technology that actually destroys the virus in human cells. And so there are things called Pakman, which was invented out in the Berkeley area by one of the people working with Jennifer and at the Broad Institute with Eric Lander and Fong Zhang.


They invented something called Kava. Now, these aren't totally available yet, but these things are coming online, these instant detection kits and even treatments. And by the way, the treatments may be more important than the vaccinations because, you know, vaccinations have to use our own immune system. I said I just got one this morning. I can feel my immune system having some issues here.


But if you can directly kill the virus in your system without having to use the intermediary of your immune system, that's cool.


So all of that has been done. And here's another what I think is a really cool thing. Jennifer Doudna, the hero of my book, did the gene editing technology and she was in competition with this wonderful guy, Fong Zhang, working with Eric Lander at MIT and Harvard. And they fight over patents. They fight over who should get credit for the discovery. But they both start in March of last year doing this fight against covid, using CRISPR technology.


And whenever they find something out, they put it up for free on one of these servers on the Internet. They don't patent it. They don't claim credit. They say you can build upon it. And that notion of competing for patents and intellectual property goes out of the window as the only thing they're competing is who can contribute fastest to this common pool that we're doing to fight the coronavirus. And that is the overall lesson of the book, which is that nature is beautiful.


Basic science leads to really cool things. And in the end, it's a noble, noble pursuit. That's what scientists like Jennifer down enough. And that's what I hope younger people reading this book will say. I get it. Basic science can be a noble pursuit.


Yeah, it's incredible. Now, I'm aware of the fact that the vaccine is an RNA vaccine and that that's a new approach. Is it specifically originated with CRISPR technology? Is that how the vaccine came about?


They both use RNA as an underlying technology. As we said earlier, DNA thinks it's the cool molecule. It's the famous one. It gets on the cover of magazines. Jennifer Doudna figured out early in her career the structure of RNA and RNA turns out to be a more versatile molecule.


It's the one that takes the information, our genetic code, and goes to the manufacturing region of a cell and makes proteins that orders up the making of proteins. And that's how the RNA vaccines work. You have a messenger RNA that goes into the manufacturing part of my cell that just got shot up today and it says make this fake spike protein so that if the coronavirus hits my immune system and say, oh, yeah, I know that spike protein, I'm going to get rid of it.


Now, the way CRISPR works is it uses RNA as a guide to take a scissors and cut our DNA off of that matter. You take the scissors and can cut up the coronavirus. So both of them use this miracle molecule RNA.


I mean, if I were at Time magazine and had to do a Man of the Year, Person of the Year, I'd just say, no, we're going to do a molecule of the year. It's RNA, it's created CRISPR and it's created the vaccines we just got. And so that's how they're related, which is this curiosity that most people didn't worry about, which is what is RNA do in the central dogma of biology?


Well, it can edit our genes and we can make vaccines.


Yeah, it's really fascinating. Yeah. I was thinking when I learned about it, I was thinking about the DNA being like your list of ingredients in the RNA is like the chef I'd like goes and makes the thing.


DNA is like a blueprint and my dad was an engineer and construction and the RNA is like the contractor does, building a things based on a blueprint it goes and finds in the nucleus of ourselves. Yeah.


Have you ever written about someone and they did not find it favorable.


Oh yeah. Henry Kissinger. I think a years ago when I was very young, I wrote a biography of Henry Kissinger and he was quite upset. I think that if he had reread his Nobel. Peace Prize citation. He'd be upset that it understated his accomplishment.


He has a brilliant mix of ego and insecurity. And so I think for about 20 years, he was not easily speaking to me. I think when I became editor of TIME, we threw a party for everybody who'd been on the cover of Time magazine. And so he was invited and I was wondering whether he'd come because he wasn't speaking to me. And the phone rings and my assistant says, it's Henry Kissinger on the phone for you. So I pick it up and he goes there, Walter.


Now, my reaction was either this is Henry Kissinger or my friend Graydon Carter, who does a great Kissinger imitation, pulling my leg so I didn't want to fall for it.


I went, uh huh. And he said, well, Walter, even the 30 Years War had to end. At some point I will come to your party.


And so he was a guy who didn't like the book written about him. I still think it was a totally fair book.


Yeah, well, I got one more Kissinger question, because when I read your list, I'm largely aware of everyone that you have done a biography on in their contributions. I'm totally ignorant on Kissinger. I hear him all the time, referred to as a genius. And I just was wondering if there's a two second blurb you can give me on why Kissinger is so special.


Well, he created a foreign policy that was based very much on a realistic appraisal of national interests, not on idealism. Now, that sounds bad. And it was a problem because America just doesn't like that type of foreign policy. And there was a bad consequences. The Christmas bombing of Vietnam, the secret war in Cambodia, the attempts to overthrow the governments of Chile. So it was a non morally based foreign policy. However, it was important as we came out of Vietnam to inject a bit of balance of power realism.


And that's what Kissinger did. He understood he could make an opening to China that was huge and a detente with Russia and that he could play Russia and China off against each other in this three way balance that would preserve America's influence after Vietnam. Now, this is a mark of his brilliance in some ways. But if you read my book on him or if he reads my book on him, as he did, you're going to say, OK, I'm not sitting there turning him into a hero.


Right. Right.


That's fascinating. So I imagine he's the one who brought in then MCNAMARA. Oh, no, no.


McNamara was defense secretary for John Kennedy. Kissinger is an outside adviser, a little bit to Kennedy on the Berlin crisis. But Kissinger comes in with Richard Nixon after LBJ decided not to run again in 1968.


OK, well, another great biography, right? The LBJ was.


Oh, yeah, we're waiting for that final volume of Robert Caro.


Well, it's been such a pleasure talking to you. As I said, I'm in the middle of the book and I absolutely love it. And I'm really glad that you're celebrating a woman and giving the credit to her.


But, you know, you mentioned outsiders. Let me just quickly say in some ways, when they're doing DNA in the late 1990s, the Human Genome Project, and it's a lot of alpha males, Craig Venter, even Francis Collins, Eric Lander, who you've had on your show, would whatever very few women were involved in, a group of women decided then that, OK, we're not part of the boys club doing the Human Genome Project. They focus on RNA and the structure of our Gillian Banfield, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuel Shopin.


And as I said, RNA turns out to be the better, more interesting molecule. And so this notion of focusing on a woman, it's yes, just like Rosalind Franklin inspired Jennifer Doudna that she could become a scientist here, I hope I'm inspiring a lot of people and also think different, as Steve Jobs said, maybe don't go where the puck is or where the soccer ball is. Instead, figure out we're on the playing field. You should be.


That's what the women were able to do. Jennifer Doudna, foremost amongst them.


Well, and in Jennifer, down in his own life, her father put on her bed the double helix, which I think helped her imagine a world where she could be a female biologist. So I think this book, too, could be put on someone's bed. And I'm grateful you've written it.


Well, that's a sweet thing to say. I guess my dream is somebody will leave it on the bed for their daughter or their son.


Well, I got two of them, so I thank you personally so I can put it on my daughter's bed. Please do.


I think girls are scared out of science early on? Yeah, totally.


And it's really, really important for us to have a representative of that level portrayed and talk about the book on the bed and talk about the little things that led to. The enormous things, especially when her guidance counselor, after she read that book, told her, girls don't become scientists and this is a horrible thing in our society that's finally starting to get remedied, which is girls in grammar school aren't expected to do math and science quite as well. And it happened even to my daughter where her high school counselor said, well, you don't have to take AP math and it may be a good thing.


Is it made my daughter want to take AP math and a maid, Jennifer Doudna, wanted to be a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, which is indeed what happened.


Yeah, we need more examples of that. Well, I hope the book is an example and I hope your podcast is an example of it.


Yeah, well, we love chatting with you. Yeah. Big time.


Hey, this is a very, very good show when I watch Bill Gates on it. I thought, this is funny. This is good.


And look, making me seem down to earth, I think is kind of easy. But you made Bill Gates so charming, not charming what he is. I mean, he's a charming, decent, wonderful guy.


He's a goofball. Yeah. Very few people can pull that out of him. But you did it. Congratulations.


Thank you so much. Yeah, we loved that documentary about him so much. And what we saw in that was like this guy is very playful and you're not really aware of it.


He has the best sense of humor you're going to do now. And he loves Diet Coke, as do I. That was the bridge. Well, Walter, we hope to talk to you again soon as you write another book, as I'm sure you will. And we wish you well with everything. Everybody should read The Codebreaker, the story of Jennifer Doudna and check out every book you've written.


We're about to get into the Leonardo Da Vinci was very excited about that.


The pictures in it are really good. Oh, good. They're his pictures.


All right. Take care. Bye. See you later.


Thanks for having me. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.


This episode is brought to you by the delicious McDonald's Breakfast. Let me tell you what happened to me. I was shooting up in Little Rock, California, not Arkansas, on Saturday. I got there. I was famished. I didn't have time to eat. And I asked our producer, was there any food? And she said, no, but you want me to run out, get something? And I said, Yes, please, please, please go get me a Sausage McMuffin.


Hold the egg for me. They're beautiful with the egg, but I don't eat eggs. Right. She brought back three of them and I ate all three. And it was the most delicious breakfast I've had in months.


Yeah, I prefer the Sausage McMuffin with egg. My mom got her vaccine last week and my dad and my mom stopped at McDonald's for breakfast.


Oh, for a tree. Yeah. On the way.


You know, there's something very, very comforting about sinking your teeth into it. The texture so good in the melted cheese.


Oh my. I just, my mouth just filled up with really your tongue. Like when the tongue gets the cheese it knows that cheese. Yes. OK, can I tell you my only regret for this delicious breakfast I had is that I didn't get hash browns.


I love the hash browns make these hash browns are the best hash browns on planet earth. They're golden, they're crispy munshi, but also soft on the inside.


They're so soft on the inside. Feels impossible. McDonald's breakfast. The ultimate reward for getting out of bed in the morning couldn't agree more. We are supported by sleep. No. Now, Monica, rest this gorgeous head each night on a sleep. No bed in my sleep I.Q. last night Buckle Up was ninety six. I nailed it. My sleep out my arm and my sleep number is eighty currently. Why choose proven quality sleep from sleep. No.


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No stores or sleep. No dotcom dacs.


And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate, Monica Batmen, I enjoyed Walter very much.


What a prolific biographer, what a prolific human being.


I know of time president or CEO of CNN. That's wild.


Yeah, that is crazy. That Steve Jobs story about the dad. Yeah, the restaurant is wild. And it is so sad that the dad was bragging about Steve Jobs coming in and didn't know that was his son.


Oh my God, that is so wild. It seems impossible. It's very Shakespearean. Yeah.


My great a..


So I haven't read the code breaker yet. It's sitting on my nightstand.


I really want to because I do find this story specifically so fascinating for so many reasons.


One, just I love hearing about women excelling in science.


Oh, of course. Against many odds. Yeah. And this is the beginning. It's like if we could go back in time and revisit the beginning of social media, what would we do differently? Because this is an ethical Pandora's box.


And well, and I agree with him that this is the the fourth thing there's like the industrial revolution, the computer revolution. There's going to be a medical revolution. Yes, absolutely. To be wild.


But we have to be on top of it now. We can't try to shove it back in. Obviously, we're we've learned that lesson.


Yeah, I hope I do wonder, though, if it's a lesson you can learn, because the people who created the YouTube algorithm were very well intentioned, moral people who literally didn't consider. But that's what I'm saying. I know. But I do think a lot of the downsides are going to be unimaginable. Like you can't have them off at the pass some you certainly can. But I think a lot of these things are going to take some bizarre shape no one could have even really thought of.


I just think we have to, from the get go, put some really intense regulation on it. Oh, yeah, I agree. Which we I think we should have done in tech. And we didn't know. We had no idea what it could possibly have led to. And I wish we did. Uh huh. And I want us to do that with gene editing because I do it.


All right. I'll write a couple Bill. Yeah, I'll get on it.


I also find it increasingly interesting. I mean, I know globalization has been happening for so long, but I feel like recently it's so real, like with covid and climate disaster and this is going to be so global where it has to we have to have global regulation. It cannot be.


I was going to say that's the enormous hurdle. And that was the same hurdle with tech. There's no way we could have hamstrung ourselves and then just lost out to China, where now we're behind the eight ball. And they did evil shit anyways. And now we have the evil shit. But they designed it. Yeah, it's tricky.


It is. It is. So we have to just get comfortable knowing, OK, we're really all in this together and we got to get global cooperation.


Cooperation. Yeah, yeah. And maybe a global watchdog that actually has teeth.


Yeah. Well I'll do it. I'm also going to do that so we can also hire my coyotes.


Yes. My coyote pants. Yes. OK, so Picasso has come up a couple times and every time it does in connection to cancel culture and stuff, I don't really know what he did.


I think he had sex. I think well I guess he can't assume he's dead. I believe he had sex with a bunch of very young girls. Then I think he was pretty out in public with a lot of girls. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it just in general, he was very lecherous.


Right. So when I looked into it a little bit, there's an article that says, like he had his Minotaur's I guess that's his that's a painting. I guess it could be considered a detailed psychological account of toxic masculinity. Instead, the series is mostly lauded as an expression of man's virility, power and vulnerability, culminating in a guilty appealed to our sympathy Picasso as the self mythologized and self-aware monster, a victim of both himself and of the woman he regarded as either goddesses or doormats and machines for suffering.


OK, so he drew himself as a beast, raping women a lot.


OK, so I think maybe it's more in his art or maybe also in his life.


I think his life was pretty. Wow, pretty questionable.


By today's standards, Picasso created an exceptionally miserable life for just about every woman he claimed to love in a memoir written by Picasso's granddaughter, Marina Picasso. Details the way in which Picasso bled the women in his life dry, he submitted them to his animal sexuality, tamed them, bewitched them, ingested them and crushed them onto his canvas after he had spent many nights extracting their essence. Once they were bled dry. He would dispose of them. That's a weird allegation because it's metaphorical at times.


Yeah, not a great dude anyway, I just said that's come up a bunch and I've always been like, yeah, but I haven't looked, you know, I didn't know the dates. There's a lot of people like that when you agree that there's a bunch of people I know are in trouble, but I don't really know what they're in trouble, this specifics. Yeah, yeah.


I listen to the Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Grant discussion that you had mentioned, and it was so great. It's on Adam's podcast, Work Life, and Malcolm may have posted it, too, but it's yeah, it's two different conversations they've already had and they're spliced together. One, Adam Hosteen Malcolm to promote something and then the other Malcolm Hosteen Adam to promote his book.


Yeah, and it's really, really good and so fun. They're such good sparring partner to talk about a dance. Yeah. Those guys, they soon as they start that, that needle drops and the dance is on.


But I really liked at the end of that Malcolm was talking about, well they're promoting Adam's book Think Again, which of course is we had him on to talk about it. So everyone knows, I hope. But it's all about rethinking your assumptions. And Malcolm said something really poignant. He was like, you actually have to especially rethink the ones that you feel steadfast in. Right. And I think it's easy to rethink once you're on the fence about her that are like hot topics.


Yeah, cornerstone beliefs are. Yeah, but you have to you're you're obligated to. And he was talking specifically about the issue of can trans women compete with CIS women. Yeah, yes. This women in sports events. And you know, normally his his thought is no they can't. But he is saying I have to keep revisiting it and important to because yeah, there are people involved.


Funny enough, that's one of mine as well. Yeah. Very open to the idea that there's something in there that's, you know, that I'm wrong about.


Well, that's what he's saying. Every single time there's an article or something that that comes out on this topic, I'm obligated to read it, to really look at it and think about it, because it's an opinion I hold. It's important to really continue to think about.


Yeah, it's thoughts that it obviously doesn't have to be this one. But any opinion you have that you feel super strong about?


Well, and I have many the trans one is a great one for me to talk about because I have been vocally supportive of gay people since high school. I haven't been as quick to be vocal about trans. And I think one of the reasons it was occurring to me when I watched The Lady in the Dallas that I don't know any trans people. So I have not really heard the personal story of someone in watching that documentary and actually looking at the history of what people had to endure that were trans in the 70s and 80s.


In the 90s, you know, currently it was pretty eye opening. Yeah. And because of that, we're going to have hopefully we're going to have a professor that was in that documentary to talk about because it really kind of opened my eyes. And I was like, oh, yeah. So anyways, yeah, maybe my opinion would evolve on the Olympics.


Yeah. It's just important to remain open minded. I mean, it's so, so much easier said than done for all of us on everything, I think.


So easy to solidify your opinions. OK. Oh, just to clarify, we recorded this a while ago and he got his second vaccine that day and we were really, really excited. We had a big reaction, but it was really early on.


Yeah, I said yes, that's that's that. I wonder.


So you were talking about a Radiolab, about a guy talking about being in the vaccine trial and I'm not sure which one, but there is a Radiolab episode called The Great Vaccinator. Yeah, it was in December.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. That didn't really send it to you as well. She did. She sent me that. But I have a listen. I didn't know was the same one. It's awesome. It's not so awesome because of the part I talked about which I thought maybe he was the guy. Right. Who had who had participated in the study. Right. It was not. But learning about the guy who invented, like fucking eight of our biggest vaccines, he saved, like literally that a billion people he saved.


And no one knows his name. And I've already forgotten it is saving more human lives than any human to ever live on planet Earth. And no one knows his name than that. Wild. Yeah, I got to listen in the way he approached it and the speed at which he could do it. One of the most incredible scientific minds to ever live. So cool.


Really good. Well, that is all, my friend. Well, my friend, I love you. I love you. Cherish you, you and I. I armed cherish you.


Oh, that's good. I cherish you too. OK, bye bye.