A renowned scientist who “could be the next Darwin” will speak at Eastern Kentucky University on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Dr. Jeremy England will present a lecture that approaches the Chautauqua theme of “Order and Chaos” from the field of physics. His talk, at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building, is titled “Entropy and Irreversible Change: The Thermodynamics of Evolutionary Adaptation.”
England’s theory on “dissipative adaptation” has earned him widespread recognition in the fields of biophysics and cosmology and has been featured in such popular outlets as NPR, Harper’s and Forbes Magazine. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning science historian Edward Larson, England’s theory is so significant that if proven through experimentation, “he could be the next Darwin.”
“Dissipative adaptation” focuses on the possibility of self-organizing life in the early universe. His research is directed toward understanding organizational patterns in space and time that form the basis of life on the molecular level. The many scientific and medical questions England hopes to answer with his theory could point toward theoretical physics as a way to better understand biological phenomena. Ultimately, England’s objective with his research is to trace a boundary between inanimate and living matter.
England earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvard in 2003 before beginning graduate studies at Oxford and eventually earning his doctorate in physics at Stanford in 2009. After two years as a lecturer and research fellow at Princeton, he began work in 2011 as a professor at MIT, where he heads his own lab and research group.
The England lecture is sponsored by the College of Science, the Office of Graduate Education and Research, the Department of Biological Sciences, and EKU Honors.