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Wed Sep 06 // 8:00 pm

What is Life?

Presented by CAVEAT

The question “What is life?” takes just three words. But it is one of the hardest questions in science, attracting researchers from a huge range of disciplines, from molecular biology to astronomy to philosophy. This fall, science writer Carl Zimmer delves into this question by talking to eight experts over four nights to understand what the newest research tells us about life.

Night 1, with philosopher Carlos Mariscal and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker, tackles the question “What is Life?” head on.

Event starts 8:00pm, doors 7:30pm. 21+

Other events in this series:

Nov 1st: How did life start?
Dec 6th: Is life inevitable? 
Dec 20th: What did the first life look like?

Who will be there:

Carlos Mariscal is an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also a member of the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EECB) and Integrative Neuroscience Programs. Before arriving at Nevada, he received his Ph.D. from Duke University and did postdoctoral work at Dalhousie University. He has presented his work in dozens of universities around the world, organized several research workshops, and published articles in philosophy, biology, and interdisciplinary journals. Carlos’ work largely focuses on what we can know about life in the Universe, the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere, and the many philosophical issues raised by the multidisciplinary science of astrobiology.

Sara Imari Walker is an assistant professor at Arizona State University. She is a theoretical physicist and astrobiologist who received her PhD in Physics from Dartmouth College and has held postdoctoral appointments in the Center for Chemical Evolution at the Georgia Institute of Technology and as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow. Her research focuses on the emergence of life, but she is broadly interested in topics as diverse as the structure of information hierarchies in biological systems, astrobiological searches for life elsewhere in the cosmos, the dynamics underlying major evolutionary transitions, cancer biology, quantum mechanics and space exploration.

Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times, where his column “Matter” appears each week. He is the author of thirteen books on science, and is a frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts such as Radiolab. In 2016, Zimmer won the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science.

Check out Carl Zimmer's Ted Talk on Extinction 

Check out Carl Zimmer's Talk Talk on Parasites

This program is a collaboration between The Story Collider and CAVEAT, and is supported by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science.