TCD to livestream Schrödinger lecture series with five Nobel Prize winners

3 Sep 2018

Bust sculpture of Erwin Schrödinger at University of Vienna. Image: Jan Krcmar/Shutterstock

Five Nobel Prize winners are coming to Dublin as part of a conference marking the 75th anniversary of Erwin Schrödinger’s ‘What is Life?’ lectures at TCD.

With World War II raging in continental Europe, renowned thinker Erwin Schrödinger came to Dublin to continue his research in neutral Ireland.

During that time, he gave what became some of his most important lectures in a series entitled What is Life? in 1943 at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Now, 75 years later, the university is to mark the occasion with the Future of Biology meeting.

Taking place on 5 and 6 September in the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Future of Biology meeting will bring together some of the world’s best scientific minds to speak on everything from the future of artificial intelligence to the future of brain editing.

Talks will feature five Nobel prize winners, including Bernard Feringa (The Future of Chemistry), John O’Keefe (The Future of the Brain), Michael Rosbash (The Future of Fruit Fly and Circadian Biology), Susumu Tonegawa (The Future of Learning and Memory) and Ada Yonath (The Future of Structural Biology).

In the intervening years since Schrödinger’s lectures, his description of an ‘aperiodic crystal’ to describe what genes are made of ended up having a tremendous influence on the development of molecular biology.

How to watch it

Speaking of this week’s lecture series, Prof Luke O’Neill, chair of biochemistry at TCD, said: “We are excited to hear the personal thoughts of so many modern-day scientific luminaries.

“It is our great hope that this meeting and the seeds it sows will ensure Dublin will once again be remembered for shaping future work on that most important of all questions: what is life?”

The keynote speaker will be Prof Daniel Dennett of Tufts University, a philosopher and author who specialises in the philosophy of the mind.

Some other noticeable names on the speaker list include Murray Shanahan, a senior research scientist at Google-owned AI developer DeepMind who was also a scientific adviser to the film Ex Machina.

Given the occasion, TCD will livestream the event to anyone who wishes to watch it online, and it can found at the YouTube link below.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic