Why We Die – The New Science of Ageing and the Quest for Immortality | How To Academy


Wed, 20 March 2024

6:45 pm - 8:00 pm GMT

Why We Die – The New Science of Ageing and the Quest for Immortality

Nobel Laureate and former Royal Society President Venki Ramakrishnan

Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan joins us to transform our understanding of why we age and die – and ask what we can do about it.

Would you want to live forever?

We are living through a revolution in biology. Giant strides are being made in our understanding of why we age and die, and why some species live longer than others. In the last decade alone, tens of billions of dollars have been invested in anti-ageing start-ups, and the world’s biggest tech moguls – from Musk to Bezos to Zuckerberg – are excited.

Examining recent scientific breakthroughs, world leading molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan will show us how cutting-edge efforts to extend lifespan by altering our natural biology raise profound questions. Although we might not like it, does death serve a necessary biological purpose? As science advances, we have much to gain – but might we also have much to lose? And most important of all: how can we increase our chances of living long, healthy and fulfilled lives?

Praise for Venki Ramakrishnan’s Why We Die:

‘Utterly fascinating. Clear, enthralling and packed with insights.’ – Bill Bryson

‘A thrilling ride through the science of ageing and death. A must read.’ – Stephen Fry

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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Venki Ramakrishnan

Biologist and Nobel Laureate

Venki Ramakrishnan won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for uncovering the structure of the ribosome. He runs the Ramakrishnan Lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. From 2015 to 2020, he served as president of the Royal Society in London. He was knighted in 2012 and is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina and EMBO, and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy. Among his many other awards and honours are the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the Order of Merit. He is the author of the scientific memoir Gene Machine, praised by Bill Bryson, Ian McEwan, Siddhartha Mukherjee and many others.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.