Lee Cronin (@leecronin)’s lab at the University of Glasgow does cutting-edge research into manufacturing and 3D printing complex molecules, like medicines on-demand – a breakthrough he presented at TEDGlobal 2012.
He has one of the largest multidisciplinary chemistry-based research teams in the world, having raised over $35 M in grants and current income of $15 M. Lee has given over 300 international talks and has authored over 350 peer reviewed papers with recent work published in Nature, Science, and PNAS. He and his team are trying to make artificial life forms, find alien life, explore the digitization of chemistry, understand how information can be encoded into chemicals and construct chemical computers.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:
- How Lee believes we can create artificial life
- The relationship between biology, chemistry and our understanding of the universe
- What Lee’s team is looking at when it comes to 3D printing medicines and molecules
- The future of personalized genetic medicine
- Why Lee is skeptical of artificial general intelligence
- The real problem with fake news
- How the scientific research funding process works and the politics involved
- Why researchers need to be able to sell their ideas
- The way Lee looks at problems to tackle
- Why chemical computers may be a bigger deal than quantum