An Evening With Walter Isaacson*

Mar 12, 2021

Join us for an evening with Walter Isaacson, speaking on his new release, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. The book, to be released March 9th, offers a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species. The conversation will be moderated by Mark K. Updegrove, President and CEO of the LBJ Foundation.

The program will premiere at 7:00 pm CST on Friday, March 12. A link to view will be emailed to registrants earlier that day. We will not be taking comments or questions live— please submit your questions in advance, as part of the registration process, to help streamline the program. We welcome your comments on our Facebook and YouTube channels.

About the speaker:

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.

About the book:

In The Code Breaker Walter Isaacson shares Jennifer Doudna’s story: a thrilling scientific tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species and carries the urgency of meeting the crisis we face today.

Doudna helped to invent the technology known as CRISPR, a tool we can use to edit our genes and choose the traits of our babies. It has been used in China to create “designer babies” that are immune from the AIDS virus and in the U.S. to cure patients of sickle cell anemia. She was also a pioneer in discovering the structure of RNA, the molecule that powers CRISPR and also the revolutionary new COVID vaccines. As we roll up our sleeves to get the shots, this book explains how they work.

The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution: children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study the code of life—and all the moral dilemmas this brings.

Copies of The Code Breaker with a signed bookplate are available for sale through the registration process or online here. All proceeds from The Store at LBJ benefit the programming, education initiatives, and exhibits at the LBJ Presidential Library.


Please register, submit questions for Walter Isaacson, and purchase your signed, bookplated copy of The Code Breaker using the form below.

Please note: the LBJ Presidential Library remains closed; this is an online event.



This program is presented in partnership with Humanities Texas.

Humanities Texas

The Evening With speaker series is generously sponsored by St. David's HealthCare and the Moody Foundation.

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Contact Us

Sarah McCracken
Director of Public Programs
LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78705
[email protected]

Deborah Arronge
Membership Manager

LBJ Presidential Library
[email protected]

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