Breakfast

Tuesday 5 February 2019

7:45am

What is life?

Professor Paul Davies of Arizona State University

Darwin’s account of the origin of living things makes no attempt to answer the deepest question, what is life?

With new advances in nanotechnology and biophysics, scientists are demonstrating how living organisms manipulate information to power molecular motors, control chemical reactions and navigate the uncertain world of molecular randomness.

In The Demon in the Machine, Paul Davies explores nothing less than a grand unified theory of physics and biology organised around the concept of information.

This book is the culmination of decades of thinking about physics, life and complexity.  It lays out the foundations for this next great frontier in science, in which new physical laws will be understood and exploited,  ‘information engines’ will transform nanotechnology and biology will be seen to be less about complex chemistry and more about modules and networks that store and process information.

Paul Davies

Paul is Regents’ Professor of Physics and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University.

The author of more than twenty books and winner of the prestigious Templeton Prize and a Glaxo Science Writers’ Fellowship, he has achieved an international reputation for his ability to explain the significance of advanced scientific ideas in simple language.

"Paul Davies narrates a gripping new drama in science, in which the plot is the story of life and the leading actor is information....If you want to understand how the concept of life is changing, read this."

Professor Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford