Chemistry Nobel Laureate Presents 2012 Cocker Lecture
Jul 12, 2012
Chemistry Nobel Laureate (1987), Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, of the University of Strasbourg recently delivered the 2012 Cocker Lecture entitled From Matter to Life: Chemistry? Chemistry!
In his address, Professor Lehn looked back to the beginning of time, from the ‘Big Bang’ to the aggregation and organization of matter. He argued that Life, rather than being a unique or accidental occurrence, is an inevitable and in the future a comprehensible consequence of the laws governing matter and the Universe. In Lehn’s view, chemistry provides the bridge between the molecules of inanimate matter and the highly complex molecular architectures and systems which make up living organisms. He also states that chemistry is uniquely positioned to answer the popular question, ‘Exactly how did matter come to become organized into what we now call ‘Life’?
L-R Mr Thomas W. Given, Mr Ian Given, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Mrs Katharyn Given, (Wesley Cocker's daughter) HE Madame Emmanuelle d’Achon (Ambassador of France to Ireland), Dr Claude Detrez (Scientific and Cultural Attaché, French Embassy)
Professor Lehn also took the audience on a tour of the history of chemistry through a selection of key eureka moments; from the early endeavours of the ancient Greeks, to the beginnings of the subject as we know it today, finishing with the efforts of contemporary scientists to design and control molecular systems capable of the types of organization, regulation and even evolution more usually associated with biological systems. The lecture concluded with a look to the future, suggesting that chemistry will contribute to the design of ever more complicated systems capable of mimicking or integrating with biology.
The lecture, which was held in Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute was attended by Wesley Cocker's family, whose bequest endoweds the annual Cocker public lecture, and the French Ambassador to Ireland, HE Mme. Emmanuelle d’Achon.
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