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March 28, 2023
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Event Category:


Member Forum on Zoom under Chatham House rule
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The Song of the Cell: Medicine and the New Human 

Non-Fiction Forum

Hosted by:
Peter Lamell

March 28, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


The building block of life: the cell. Its story is the story of modern medicine. And the story of practicing cancer physician, researcher and Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee’s latest book.

With revelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors, and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human (Bodley Head, November 2022) is the third book in this extraordinary writer’s exploration of what it means to be human.

This book is the story of the cell – past, present and future. Since the discovery of the cell in the 1660s and the discovery in the 1850s that most diseases can be traced back to our cells, human beings have been understood as an ecosystem of units that produce exponentially complex structures and effects.

How did we discover these units, and their functions? How did we begin to understand hearts, brains, kidneys as collections of cooperating cells? What are cells anyway? How do they work, and how (why?) do they work together? Why build organs and organisms out of these units? And could we re-assemble a new kind of human? Could we alter cells to become resistant to diseases? Could we make new humans out of new kinds of cells, endowed with novel properties, functions or intentions?

Read the book, come with an open mind, hear differing perspectives and uncover what your fellow readers think.

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