Download the poster

What is life?

Join us for an evening of talks and lively discussion about the nature of life, with expert speakers on philosophy, chemistry and astrobiology.

Date: Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Time: 18:15 to 21:15 (doors open at 18:00)
VenueThe Cambridge Union Society 
Registration: The event is free and open to all.

Please let us know you're coming so that we can ensure we have space for you. 

Follow the event on Twitter: #scisoc

About the event

The question 'What is life?' has long puzzled humankind. We all feel that we have an innate understanding of what makes a living entity. But the exact nature of life, the story of its origins, and its potential presence on other worlds remain enigmatic.

On the 70th anniversary of Nobel prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s seminal book, ‘What is Life?’, we host this Science and Society evening, in which we hope to touch on key themes surrounding the nature of life. We will consider questions such as: What distinguishes life from inert matter? Where did life originally come from? Is life some form of essence - a vital force - or is it encoded information? Is life on Earth unique? Will we be able to eventually create life artificially - and if so, should we?

After three talks from expert speakers in the field, we look forward to exciting discussions on these topics.

Speaker panel

Samir Okasha (University of Bristol)
What is Life? A philosophical perspective.

Lee Cronin (University of Glasgow)
Why the origin of life had to be inorganic.

Lewis Dartnell (University College London)
Astrobiology: the search for life on other worlds.

Event website