Are viruses alive?

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 26 August

Online

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • This human T cell (blue) is under attack by HIV (yellow), the virus that causes AIDS. 

    Credit: ZEISS Microscopy

Price

Pay what you can

Event description

Countless scientists around the world study life, and yet they can't really agree on what it is. Are viruses alive, for example, or are they lifeless packages of protein and nucleic acid? Join New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer as he explores the boundaries of life, encountering viruses and other strange residents of the borderlands.

Copies of Carl's book, 'Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive' are available from Amazon and all good bookshops.

Book tickets

Event type

This is a livestream event where the speaker and audience come together online. 

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About the speaker

Carl Zimmer is the author of fourteen books about science. His latest book is Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive.

Zimmer’s column Matter appears each week in the New York Times. His writing has earned a number of awards, including the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution. His book, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, won the 2019 National Academies Communication Award. The Guardian named it the best science book of 2018.

Zimmer is a familiar voice on radio programs such as Radiolab and professor adjunct at Yale University. He is, to his knowledge, the only writer after whom both a species of tapeworm and an asteroid have been named.

Timing

The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

The Royal Institution is part of the Amazon Affiliate Programme and book links on this page are affiliate links, which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link. All proceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

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