What Is Life? Slides and Gramophone

I’ve posted my John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture, “What is Life?” on blip.tv and have embedded it here. It’s a combination of my slides for the talk and a so-so audio recording. I stopped recording after my main talk, because the questions and answer period was pretty inaudible. That’s too bad, because we got into some interesting questions about whether viruses, prions, or even the Internet can be considered alive. Abbie Smith, who was at the talk, wrote about the discussion, and her own distaste for hard lines between life and non-life.

(New media postscript: I like building an archive of my talks, but I have yet to perfect a good system. A decent lapel mike will definitely help, but there is no easy way to mix slides and recording. Soundslide is okay in some ways, but it doesn’t do a good job embedding. I used Imovie to make this video, but it’s about as quick as assembling a watch.)