Johnjoe McFadden, Professor of Molecular Genetics, Surrey University, Alumnus

Like Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, which provided a new perspective on how evolution works, Life on the Edge alters our understanding of life’s dynamics.

Bringing together first-hand experience of science at the cutting edge with unparalleled gifts of exposition and explanation, Professor McFadden reveals the hitherto missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics and the strange phenomena that lie at the heart of this most mysterious of sciences.

Drawing on ground-breaking experiments around the world, he shows how photosynthesis relies on subatomic particles existing in many places at once, while inside enzymes, those workhorses of life that make every molecule within our cells, particles vanish from one point in space and instantly materialise in another.

For more than a decade, Professor McFadden has specialised in examining the genetics of microbes such as the agents of tuberculosis and meningitis. He has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals on subjects as wide-ranging as bacterial genetics, tuberculosis, idiopathic diseases and computer modelling of evolution and has edited a book on the genetics of mycobacteria.

He has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan and his work has been featured in radio, television and national newspaper articles. His present post is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey. 

Links

[McFadden's Guardian articles]

[Event poster]

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