A 2013 survey conducted by the Woodrow Wilson Synthetic Biology Project found that 75% of adults have heard just a little or nothing at all about synthetic biology, figures that were virtually unchanged since 2009. Meanwhile, the field, like DNA sequencing and systems biology before it, is growing in technological sophistication at a tremendous rate and disrupting conventional ideas and mechanisms in research, development, security and economics. It's like computers all over again, only in a different and more controversial medium ¬- life. This talk will introduce synthetic biology to a broad audience by comparing it to the evolution of computing and information technologies; describe key individuals, breakthroughs, and resources from recent years; and provide a future forward perspective based on trends and comparisons. By the the end of talk, the listener should feel a) confident that they have a basic understanding of synthetic biology; and b) some appreciation of the importance of the field to continued global technological and economic progress - if not the continued existence of the human species.