Jean-Marie Lehn - Steps Towards Life - Chemistry

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19 March 2019

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Speaker: Jean-Marie Lehn
Venue: Peston Lecture Theatre, The Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, E1 4NS

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As part of Queen Mary University of London's Public Lecture Series, and in partnership with The engineering Seminar Series, Jean-Marie Lehn (1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) will give a public lecture at Queen Mary on Tuesday 19 March 2019. This talk will be focus on recent insights into how chemistry could eventually lead to the emergence of life. There will be extensive time for questions and discussions with guests. Everyone interested in this ultimate mystery is welcome.


The evolution of the universe has generated more and more complex forms of matter through self-organization, from particles up to living and thinking matter. Mankind has created science to unravel the ways and means by which matter has become organized up to a thinking organism in particular on our planet earth. Self-organization is the process by which steps towards life and thought have emerged. Animate as well as inanimate matter, living organisms as well as materials, are formed of molecules and of the organized entities resulting from the interaction of molecules with each other. Chemistry provides the bridge and unravels the steps from the molecules of inanimate matter and the highly complex molecular architectures and systems which make up living and thinking organisms. Molecular chemistry has developed very powerful methods for constructing ever more complex molecules from atoms. Supramolecular chemistry seeks to understand and control the formation and behaviour of complex molecular assemblies. The field of chemistry is the universe of all possible structures and transformations of molecular matter, of which those actually realized in nature represent just one world among all the worlds that await to be created. Conceptual considerations on science in general will be presented. Science shapes the future of humanity!

This event is open for all students and staff of the university, alumni, and all members of the general public. Please register your place to guarantee your attendance.