Sunday, December 12, 2021

Are Viruses Alive?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, History of Science, Nature of Science, Health, Medicine

Ed Hessler

In my opinion, Carl Zimmer is in the top tier of science reporters and you've likely read a column (New York Times) or book by him. 

In this longer-than-usual video, Zimmer considers an interesting question: Are Viruses Alive?, one that may not be at the top of your list of things you'd like to know about. Introductory biology courses in school/college often spend some time on the question of what is life and one is left thinking the question is not so hard. Of course, everybody knows that viruses are.... Hold on a minute, maybe they are alive.

The video is 53m 19s long but Zimmer is interesting, knowledgeable, and the question can easily hook you. The lecture is also illustrated. 

This is an Ri video, i.e., The Royal Institution which makes "videos to make you think more deeply about science." Some of their videos are short and some are full length talks with the purpose "to challenge the way you look at the world."

The Royal Institution is well known for its annual series, the Christmas Lectures. The first one was given by Michael Faraday in 1825, and are now broadcast on the United Kingdom's "telly" channel every year.

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