Today’s Financial Times features my most recent OpEd about the far-reaching impact that advances in biology will have on international relations — and the vital role for international scholarship and education.

Here’s an excerpt:

As I survey the landscape of the next decade, it seems the truly big muscle movements will come from the world of biology. They include increased life expectancy, artificially enhanced human performance, synthetic biological changes to crops, energy that is produced through biological reaction, implantation of information devices in our bodies, the conquest of persistent diseases, artificial limbs and eyes, 4-D printing and synthetic genomics.

While all these innovations will have deeply personal impact, as well as enormous importance in all of our nations, they will also create challenge and opportunity in the international sphere. Those of us involved in graduate education in the international realm need to begin to grapple with the nature of these changes and how we go about teaching our graduates to be prepared to meet them, surmount the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities.

Indeed, it is the fusion between biology, information and technology that will have the greatest impact – something some have called “the singularity”. The implications for the international sphere are immense.

Tufts University — home to a world-class institution of international studies and equally robust schools of medicine, veterinary science, nutrition, dentistry and public health — is extremely well positioned to create academic programs at the nexus of biology and international policy.

Such “bridge” programs will provide critical pathways for understanding and navigating the coming age of biology.

(read the article on

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