image : Nick Lane

Nick Lane

Nick Lane is a biochemist and writer. He is a Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. "Like his forebears in that same department -- Steve Jones, JBS Haldane -- he's that rare species, a scientist who can illuminate the bewildering complexities of biology with clear, luminous words" (The Observer). His research focuses on the role of bioenergetics in the origin of life and the evolution of cells. Nick was awarded the first UCL Provost's Venture Research Prize in 2009 and the 2015 Biochemical Society Award. He has published four critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into 20 languages. Life Ascending won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. His books have been shortlisted for two other literary prizes and named a book of the year by the Economist, Independent, Times, Sunday Times and New Scientist. He was described by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek as "a writer who is not afraid to think big - and think hard." For more information, visit www.nick-lane.net

The Best 2 Books on Nick Lane

image Nick Lane

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life

“One of the deepest, most illuminating books about the history of life to have been published in recent years.” ―The Economist

The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet there’s a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.

For two and a half billion years, from the very origins of life, single-celled organisms such as bacteria evolved without changing their basic form. Then, on just one occasion in four billion years, they made the jump to complexity. All complex life, from mushrooms to man, shares puzzling features, such as sex, which are unknown in bacteria. How and why did this radical transformation happen?

The answer, Lane argues, lies in energy: all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a lightning bolt. Building on the pillars of evolutionary theory, Lane’s hypothesis draws on cutting-edge research into the link between energy and cell biology, in order to deliver a compelling account of evolution from the very origins of life to the emergence of multicellular organisms, while offering deep insights into our own lives and deaths.

Both rigorous and enchanting, The Vital Question provides a solution to life’s vital question: why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all?

37 illlustrations
Read More

IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NICK LANE, YOU CAN FIND HIM ON HIS Website, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram AND Youtube