Sir Paul Nurse FRS, The Rockefeller University
Three of the ideas of biology are the gene theory, the theory of evolution by natural selection and the proposal that the cell is the fundamental unit of all life. When considering the question of ‘what is life?’ these ideas come together, because the special way cells reproduce provides the conditions by which natural selection takes place allowing living organisms to evolve. A fourth idea is that the organization of chemistry within the cell provides explanations for life’s phenomena. A new idea is the nature of biological self organization on which living cells and organisms process information and acquire specific forms. Sir Paul Nurse will discuss how these great ideas have influenced and changed the way we think of science today.