JCC National Consortium Presents Walter Isaacson


Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

Walter Isaacson, THE CODE BREAKER

March 4, 2021, at 8 PM EDT

Ticket Price: $38.00 includes entry into the virtual event and a copy of THE CODE BREAKER

  • A Zoom link will be emailed to ticket holders on March 3, 2021.
  • Prior to the event, a reminder email containing the Zoom link will be emailed to ticket holders (and late registrants) on March 4, 2021, after 4 PM.


Following his blockbuster biographies of Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs comes Walter Isaacson's dramatic history of our third scientific revolution: CRISPR, gene editing, and the quest to understand the code of life itself--a race made ever more urgent by our fight to conquer the coronavirus.

Isaacson humanizes science history, telling the stories of the greatest scientific breakthrough of the past six centuries through characters whose journeys he turns into thrillers. Here he focuses on pioneering American biochemist Jennifer Doudna, showing what it took for her to defy the odds as a woman in a male-dominated field. The gripping narrative twists and turns through the risks she took, the rules she broke, the alliances she formed, the competition she bested, and the moral dilemmas she faced along the way.

  • Doudna became an expert in determining the shapes and structures of RNA molecules-- expertise that led to her to develop a revolutionary new technique that could actually edit human genes. Today gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR are already being used to eliminate simple genetic defects that cause disorders such as Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia.
  • The technology Doudna created is beginning to tackle more complex hereditary syndromes, such as dwarfism, Alzheimer's, congenital hearing loss, ALS, muscular dystrophy, dementia, high cholesterol, diabetes, and even infertility, depression, and schizophrenia; it is also being used to develop immune-system responses to cure HIV/AIDS and many forms of cancer. But the technology has also given birth to a huge debate over how far our human species should be allowed to go in eliminating its imperfections, and Doudna has been a leader in helping to set those guardrails. For now, however, she and her team are being deployed against our most immediate threat - the coronavirus - and Walter Isaacson gives us a front-row seat to the story.


Walter Isaacson is an American author, journalist, and professor. He has 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. Isaacson is a professor at Tulane University and an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg Partners, a New York City-based financial services firm. He was vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, chaired the government board that runs Voice of America, and was a member of the Defense Innovation Board.


Event date: 

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 8:00pm

Event address: 

Virtual Event
Winter Park, FL 32789
SKU: JCCIsaacsonEvt

Event Type: