What Is the Meaning of Life?

For Sir Paul Nurse, Creativity and Community Are Essential Building Blocks

What does it take to create meaning in our lives? According to Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel laureate geneticist and author of What Is Life?, supporting family and community as well as improving the world for others are key to fulfillment.

Nurse, currently the founding director and CEO of the Francis Crick Institute, visited Zócalo yesterday with Caltech developmental biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, author of The Dance of Life, for a conversation that reflected on his scientific and philosophical insights into human life throughout his career as a geneticist. The Zócalo/Caltech event …

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Picturing Blood and Kinship

After Eunice San Miguel Recovered From Cancer, She Painted Her Relationship to Her Family and Her Body in a New Way

On the morning of December 9, 2017, I was driving north on the 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles when I received a call. It was the doctor I had …

How an Oahu Doctor Struggles to Care for His Micronesian Patients

Fleeing Rising Sea Levels and Burdened With Health Problems, Hawai‘i's Newest Migrants Now Face ‘Bigotry and Backlash’

With its multitude of ethnicities, cultures, and languages, Hawaiʻi might appear at first glance to be a post-racial society. The predicament of Micronesians in Hawai‘i, however, gives the lie to …

The Chicago Physician Who Understood the Paradox of Radiation

Emil Herman Grubbe Discovered That X-Rays Could Cure, but He Was Right for the Wrong Reasons

Radiation is a paradox. On the one hand, it’s a lifesaving tool. As powerful energy that can pass through solid matter, it’s often used in medicine for everything from diagnostic …

Desperate to Be Quarantined

When Cancer Treatment Made Me Radioactive, I Was Terrified I’d Expose Someone—But the Hospital Sent Me Home

I walked through a hospital door marked “Nuclear Medicine Department” knowing that when I left, I’d be radioactive.

It took just a few minutes for the doctor to administer a …