The 2009 John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture: "What Is Life?"

By Carl Zimmer | March 7, 2009 11:08 am

powell220.jpg I’m honored to report that I’ve been asked to deliver this year’s John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture.

Here is a description of the lecture series from its organizers, the Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

The John Wesley Powell Memorial Lectures were inaugurated in 1929 in honor of the distinguished geologist and leader of the first expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Each year since then, with the exception of the years during WWII when the Division did not hold meetings, SWARM has invited a distinguished scholar to deliver a lecture at the Annual Meeting on a subject of his or her choosing. An attempt has always been made to select speakers who represent as wide a diversity of scientific endeavor as possible. Some of the previous Powell lecturers have included Oliver Sacks (2000), Holmes Rolston III (1998), Carl Sagan (1992), Lawrence Slobodkin (1987), Paul S. Martin (1978), Eugene Odum (1968), A.H. Compton (1939), Otto Struve (1934) and Aldo Leopold (1933).

The title of my lecture will be, “What Is Life? An Ancient Question Meets Twenty-First Century Science.” I’ll be delivering my lecture on the evening of March 29,  during AAAS-SWARM’s annual meeting. It will take place at the Allen Chapman Activity Center at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The talk is open to the public. More details can be found here.

I’m looking forward to visiting Oklahoma for the first time, and I hope readers in and around Tulsa will be able to join me.

[Image: Grand Canyon National Park]

Comments (6)

  1. This might be a courageous thing to do considering that some Oklahoma legislators are trying to ban Richard Dawkins from coming to the state.

  2. captain Kidd

    What Is Life?

    Functional biochemical machines.

    Why are you blocking me?…CEW

  3. Good for you, Carl, and good for Oklahoma. I was getting a little down on the state my family came to CA from, but having heard the opening of the Dawkins lecture (and seeing and hearing the large, boisterous crowd) I feel better.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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