In 1943, Erwin Schrödinger, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, then Director of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), gave three public lectures entitled 'What is Life?' at Trinity College Dublin. Following their publication in 1944 as a book of the same name, these lectures had a tremendous influence on the development of molecular biology. We marked the 75th anniversary of these lectures with an unprecedented gathering of some of the most brilliant minds working in biology today.
When Schrödinger gave his original lectures in 1943, the basis for heredity was the urgent unsolved question. Our speakers addressed the current burning issues in biology—including the basis of the mind and consciousness, ageing, gene editing, synthetic biology, bioenergetics and the origin of life—and recaptured the spirit of Schrödinger’s lectures by exploring the future of biology.