A Matter of Energy: Biology From First Principles: A Conversation with Nick Lane

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - Science - 57 pages

This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Nick Lane,  Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London and bestselling author. After an inspiring story of Nick Lane’s career path, this wide-ranging conversation covers his bioenergetic view of early, evolutionary history, the origin of life and how all complex life is composed of a very particular cell type that we all share, and more. 

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Big Picture, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. A Long and Winding Road - Nick goes round the houses

II. Structuring Energy - Cells, membranes and a counterintuitive mechanism

III. Hydrothermal Vents - More than just chemistry

IV. Simulational Challenges - Making your own hydrothermal vent

V. Synoptic Justifications - Philosophers wanted

VI. Becoming Complex - From prokaryotes to eukaryotes

VII. Marvellous Mitochondria - Insights from a metabolic worldview

VIII. Open Questions - From the origin of life to consciousness


About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks.



 

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Contents

Introduction
The Conversation
A Long and Winding Road
Structuring Energy
Hydrothermal Vents
Simulational Challenges
Synoptic Justifications
Becoming Complex
Marvellous Mitochondria
Open Questions
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book, First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games. 



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