This new radio documentary explores what happened when a physicist asked, “What is Life?”
All life on this planet has something very important in common: DNA. It’s packed into every cell of our body, filled with instructions and tools for those cells to do what they need to do. It carries important information from one generation to the next, just as it did from the beginning of life throughout evolution to every living thing on the planet today.
‘What is Life?’ examines the impact of a series of public lectures given by Erwin Schrödinger in 1943 in Dublin, when he attempted to understand the chemistry of life and inheritance.
In the 1940s, scientists didn’t know that DNA was so important. They were still trying to figure out what was carrying information from one generation to the next, and where were the instructions for life stored. One of the most important breakthroughs in this search happened in Ireland in 1943 when Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who was living and working in Dublin at the time, gave a series of public lectures called “What is Life?”.
This radio documentary explores the impact of those lectures, and what happens when we approach big questions creatively, collaboratively, and with an open mind.
‘What is Life?’ features:
- Immunologist, Professor Cliona O’Farrelly, who studies the human immune system
- Geneticist, Professor Aoife McLysaght, who studies the human genome
- Zoologist, Professor Emma Teeling, who studies ageing in bats
"What is Life?" was produced by Maurice Kelliher and Shaun O'Boyle, and was supported by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, as part of the Sound And Vision Scheme.
Listen to "What is Life?" on Newstalk on Sunday December 6, 2020 at 7am, repeated on Saturday December 12, 2020 at 9pm.
The documentary will be available as a podcast after its first broadcast.
About the producers:
Artist/maker Maurice Kelliher and science advocate and communicator Shaun O’Boyle—akaBUREAU—began co-producing documentaries and podcasts in 2013. They have produced audio for: BBC Radio 4, Irish Design 2015, Science Gallery Dublin, Documentaries on Newstalk, Festival of Curiosity, LGBT History Month UK, Science Gallery International, University College Dublin, Inspirefest, and BBC World Service. They have been supported by: Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, and the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund. akabureau.com