The Origin of Life Circus - A New Book By Suzan Mazur
Press Release from Suzan Mazur
Order A Copy Of The Book - 492 pages/US$28 - www.mcnallyjackson.com
Suzan Mazur’s new book, The Origin of Life Circus: A How To Make Life Extravaganza investigates the politics of origin of life science and synthesizing of life. Suzan Mazur, whose coverage of science began decades ago at Hearst Magazine, takes you into the lab and in conversation with dozens of the world’s greatest thinkers on the subject of origin of life – among them: Jack Szostak, Freeman Dyson, Carl Woese, Dimitar Sasselov, Matthew Powner, James Simons, Harry Lonsdale, Stu Kauffman, Andrew Pohorille, Steve Benner, Dave Deamer, Nigel Goldenfeld, Pier Luigi Luisi, Lawrence Krauss, Lee Smolin, Nick Lane, Jaron Lanier, and more.
Mazur considers the inquiry into who we are and where we came from the “greatest” story, even though the origin of life field is still largely a “Big Top of exquisite conjecture” despite the fanfare of scientists now attempting to make life in the lab.
The book visits various origin of life “circus wagons” -- as Mazur refers to conferences at Princeton, CERN, in Texas and Tokyo, covering personalities and events. It also highlights the main circus tents, i.e., the rival origin of life camps: metabolists, compartmentalists and geneticists, as well as those scientists designing “toy models” -- making life in the lab from bottom up as a protocell, minimal cell and artificial cell, and from top-down via robotics.
The case is made in the book for the need for a consensus on what life is, if indeed we are now poised to make it. And there is discussion about who owns science in a democracy, since it is the public who largely funds it.
Suzan Mazur is the author of The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry. Her reports have appeared in the Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Archaeology, Connoisseur, Omni and other publications, as well as on PBS, CBC and MBC. She has been a guest on Charlie Rose, McLaughlin and various Fox Television News programs.