It is now up on Slate and you can read it here. There are many good points but I’ll just quote the end; Specter responds to my remark about the Internet and misinformation spreading as follows:
There will always be irresponsible blogs and Web sites. But there is also the New York Post. What we need to defeat denialism are independent and thoughtful publications (like this one, for example) that serve up information that is at least as reliable as newspapers have been. We will get there, but it is going to take a while, and the journey has and will be painful. In the mean time, the American public, and particularly those of us who write about science, need to start talking more vigorously about our scientific opportunities and their potential risks. If we don’t start soon, we are going to let some very promising solutions to our worst problems slip away. Do you agree with me that a national discussion on the future of synthetic life is necessary? More importantly, do you think it’s possible?
I think it’s crucially important to have a national discussion on synthetic life…and I’m now writing my next response to Specter. Meanwhile, read his here.