Multi-award-winning scientist Sir Paul Nurse considers the most fundamental question in biology, “What is Life?”
In a highly anticipated talk, Sir Paul will seek to answer this profound question by first exploring five great ideas in biology:
The cell – the fundamental unit of all living things
The gene – how do cells store, preserve and pass on information?
Evolution by natural selection – how is genetic information accurately transmitted to subsequent generations, whilst at the same time introducing sufficient variability for natural selection to operate and for new species to arise?
Life as chemistry – how do cells host myriad simultaneous chemical reactions in a minute space? What is the central role of carbon polymer chemistry?
Life as information – how do cells and organisms regulate and coordinate their internal environment? And how do they respond to stimuli and conditions in their external environment?
From consideration of these five fundamental concepts, Sir Paul will relate a number of principles which set a direction of travel towards a definition of life – something that requires more than just a description of what living things do.
His book “What is Life” has been published in 22 countries.