Catalyst: Terry Johnson


New Modality Catalyst:
Terry Johnson, Professor of Bioengineering


Profile edited by Katie MacBride

Photo courtesy of Terry Johnson
Last update: February 19, 2020


Terry D. Johnson is an Associate Teaching Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of our Catalysts. Here's a bit more about him.

What’s your quick bio?

I teach courses in a wide range of subjects, displaying a versatility that has prevented me from achieving any actual expertise. I hope that by teaching, I will be giving students the tools that they will need to repair me as I get older. I’m also co-author of the popular science book How to Defeat Your Own Clone (And Other Tips For Surviving the Biotech Revolution).

When I’m not generating PowerPoint slides, I can be found giving talks and panels at events like The Bad Ad Hoc Hypothesis Festival (a.k.a. BAHfest, a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theories); Nerd Nite (a regular presentation of fun-yet-informative presentations across disciplines); WonderCon and Silicon Valley Comic-con (conventions for science fiction and comic readers). 

What's a current cultural edge you're excited to see people pushing?

Sincerity is good. Let's mainstream that shit.

What’s your biggest, most out-there dream of a better world?

People accepting enthusiasms that they don't share would be a start.

What are your favorite links that will help our audience learn about you, your life, your work, and your values?  

My website!


New Modality Catalysts

The New Modality is about experiments in culture — and the people who do those experiments. NewMo Catalysts are people who do things we admire and want to celebrate. They also help us stay accountable to our values. To learn more about NewMo Catalysts (or nominate someone to be a Catalyst), check out the Catalyst FAQ.

This profile was edited by Katie MacBride. Katie is a writer and co-founder of Anxy magazine. More about Katie at her NewMo profile

The information in our Catalyst profiles usually comes directly from the subjects, and we usually don't fact-check them. You can learn more about The New Modality's fact-checking and epistemological ideas by reading the page about our process for truth and transparency.