Asimov Press

I’m a founding editor at Asimov Press, a digital magazine exploring what it means to live in the era of biology. Asimov Press is an editorially-independent publication modeled on Stripe Press and funded by Asimov. I’m working on this together with Xander Balwit.

View all of our published stories, essay anthologies and books here.

Biotechnology will soon touch nearly every aspect of our daily lives.

A century ago, two young researchers extracted insulin from dogs and used the molecule to treat people with diabetes. In the 1950s, the U.S.D.A. bred screwworms, sterilized them with x-rays and airdropped them over Texas todecimate invasive screwworm populations, which killed hundreds of thousands of cattle each year. The human insulin gene was cloned into bacteria in 1978. Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996.

‍For a long time, such stories were relatively rare. Now they seem to happen every month.‍ Dozens of cell and gene therapies have been FDA-approved. Engineered microbes convert steel factory waste into ethanol. Some vaccines are designed on computers. And 95 percent of livestock in America are fed with genetically modified crops. Our food and medical systems are already reliant upon biotechnology. In a few decades, so too will just about everything else.

Asimov Press exists to make sense of these swift developments and the concominant risks that emerge alongside them. We publish narrative, data-driven pieces that make sense of biotechnology and its applications, deconvolute messy ideas, and contextualize new ones. Our goal is to publish work that will be read and revisited long after they were written. We are:

Mission-Driven: Biotechnology is the most impactful development of the 21st century. By publishing insightful, narrative articles, we aim to explain its utility, weigh its risks, and bring a new generation of careful builders into the field. 

Vigilant: While biotechnology has the capacity to reduce suffering, it also has concomitant risks that we take extremely seriously. Asimov Press has a moral imperative to guide readers and researchers to do the right things with these emerging capabilities.

Mechanistic: Science is not magic. Even the most inspiring outcomes in biology have biophysical explanations. Our pieces are mechanistic, precise, and clear. They deeply explain how things work and why. 

Fair: We are excited by the good that biotechnology can do for the world, but there are often better ways to accomplish the same goals. We are not here to evangelize. Our articles are charitable to, or steelman, alternative approaches.

Data-driven: Our articles do not rely on hype or hyperbole. They provide quantitative evidence, demonstrate probabilistic reasoning, and are assiduously fact-checked. When factual errors are found in an article, we update them with a correction.

Builders: Asimov Press aims to build a vibrant, intellectual community within biotechnology. Our goal is to create a thoughtful network of writers and readers, who, while interested in theory, are even more interested in how things work and what we can actually make happen.