At the outset of his famous 1943 lecture What Is Life?, the physicist Erwin Schrödinger posed the question, “Can that which takes place inside a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?” In this Dialogue, we explore the perennial question concerning the nature of life and its relationship to matter. Schrödinger’s question is asked once again, but within a broader and modern context. We explore his question through those sciences — physics, chemistry, and biology — that have occupied themselves directly with this inquiry. In addition, we examine the foundational assumptions on which the modern theories of life depend, and the implications of these for the very definition of life we employ and the ethics we adopt for the use of the awesome biological technologies under development.

LOCATION: Dharamsala, India


Michel Bitbol, MD, PhD

Archives Husserl, École Normale Supérieure

Steven Chu, PhD

Stanford University

Ursula Goodenough, PhD

Washington University, St. Louis

Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Compassion Institute

Board Chair

Eric Lander, PhD

Whitehead Institute

Pier Luigi Luisi, PhD

Institut für Polymere Departement Werkstoffe

Matthieu Ricard, PhD


Convening Faculty, Fellow

Arthur Zajonc, PhD

Mind & Life Institute