Anthrax spores

Credit: J. Carr / CDC

How Concerned Should We Be About Bioterrorism?

December 4, 2012

Steven Kotler and Andrew Hessel begin their recent Atlantic article with a terrifying scenario. The President of the United States is coming to speak at Harvard. 

Though he might be well insulated by the Secret Service and well protected from guns, there's at least one weapon that is able to enter the hall where he is speaking undetected: a bioweapon.

A weapon personalized for him. Designed to be largely harmless for everyone else. But one that will lead to his death. It's a scenario that some may think is alarmist but that Hessel, a biologist and futurist, and Kotler, a best-selling writer, believe we ignore at our peril.

Kara Miller talks with Hessel and Kotler on Boston Public Radio about bioterrorism and whether it really could be the most terrifying new weapon on the horizon. 


  • Andrew Hessel is a faculty member in bioinformatics and biotechnology at Singularity University. He's also the co-founder of the world’s first cooperative biotechnology company.
  • Steven Kotler is a contributor to Forbes, has written for The New York Times Magazine and Wired, and is co-author of the book Abundance.

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