How Life Works – A User’s Guide to the New Biology | How To Academy


Tue, 13 February 2024

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

How Life Works – A User’s Guide to the New Biology

Philip Ball In Conversation With David Malone

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Forget what you think you know about biology. Philip Ball is here to take us to the new frontier of the life sciences, and reveal why life is much, much stranger than we realise.

Biology is undergoing a quiet but profound transformation. Several aspects of the standard picture of how life works – the idea of the genome as a blueprint, of genes as instructions for building an organism, and more – have been exposed as incomplete, misleading, or wrong.

Philip Ball joins us to explore the new biology, revealing life to be a far richer, more ingenious affair than we had guessed. We know now that there is no one place to look for an answer to the question of how life works – life is a system of many levels, each with its own rules and principles. With this knowledge comes new possibilities: from reprogramming cells to regenerating limbs and perhaps even creating new forms of life that evolution never imagined.

Both a brilliant summary of recent developments in biology and a radical manifesto for a post-Daw kins understanding of genetics and evolution, this is an unmissable introduction to a new understanding of life.

This event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine. The RSM is one of the UK’s leading providers of continuing learning for healthcare professionals. They bring people together to have the medical conversations that matter. Their vision is “Better Healthcare for Better Lives” and as a registered charity and membership organisation they aim to achieve this by sharing learning and supporting innovation across all areas of healthcare.

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Philip Ball

Writer and Broadcaster

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and broadcaster, and was an editor at Nature for more than twenty years. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and has written many books on the interactions of the sciences, the arts, and wider culture. His book Critical Mass won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. Ball is also a presenter of Science Stories, the BBC Radio 4 series on the history of science. He trained as a chemist at the University of Oxford and as a physicist at the University of Bristol. He is the author of The Modern Myths, The Book of Minds, and How Life Works. He lives in London.

David Malone

Award-winning Science Filmmaker

David Malone is a filmmaker and TV presenter whose documentaries include Testing God, Soul Searching (both Channel 4), Dangerous Knowledge and The Secret Life of Waves (both BBC). He is the author of The Debt Generation.