2015 Talks at Basingstoke Cafe Sci Feb 2015 - Life on the Edge: How quantum mechanics keeps us alive

The speaker for the February 2015 meeting of Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique at The Tea Bar will be Professor Johnjoe McFadden from the the University of Surrey.  Professor McFadden will be discussing the topic of "Life on the Edge: How quantum mechanics keeps us alive".  

Summary:  Recent research has discovered that weird quantum effects such as quantum tunnelling, quantum coherence or entanglement, may underpin fundamental biological processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme action, gene mutation or even avian navigation. This talk and discussion will explore these recent findings and discuss what they mean for our understanding of what life really is. 

Biography: Professor Johnjoe McFadden was born in Ireland, brought up in the UK, did his UG degree and PhD in London (Imperial College). He is now Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey. His principle research field is in microbial genetics, particularly of pathogens such as the TB bacillus and he has published more than 100 scientific papers on this topic. 

However, he has wide ranging interests in broader science issues such as  the role of quantum mechanics in biology and consciousness. In 2000 he published ‘Quantum Evolution’; in 2007 he published ‘Human Nature::: Fact and Fiction (with Robin Headlam-Wells) and in 2014 he published ‘Life on the Edge: The New Science of Quantum Biology’ with Jim Al-Khalili.

Venue:  The Tea Bar doors will be open from around 6.00pm before the talk which starts at 7:30pm, so you can get yourself a drink and have a chat with other participants. We will aim to finish around 9:00pm as usual, though everyone will be welcome to stay around and have a chat with the speaker until around 10:00pm.

The format of the evening is usually a talk of 30 to 40 minutes, followed by a short break so the audience can refill their glasses and buy cakes before questions and discussions about the talk. Entry is free and open to everyone, but we do encourage you to buy a tea, coffee or drink (and cakes) at the bar to show your support for The Tea Bar who sponsor the meeting by providing the venue.

Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore and debate the latest ideas in science and technology.

Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique is a free Science Interest Group organised and sponsored by the Active Hampshire Social Club.


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Enquiries to: Bob Clifford (info@cafesci-basingstoke.org.uk)

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