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 …

How the Skull Is an Ally in Art

When the Ultimate Symbol of Death Serves as Muse, It Can Force Us to Confront Our Own Mortality

You walk through the darkness of the crypt, with choral music playing from hidden speakers. All around you, human bones are arranged in patterns, tiling the walls, divided by femurs, …

The Game of Non Existence

Did you ever play at non-existence?

My brother and I taught ourselves to play the game
no one else would’ve shown two kids:

how to lean forward under the counter,
under our …

Time to Wake Up, I Guess

Sometimes a hawk will stand on a starling, periodically shaking it with a peeved look on its face. This is your life trying to wake you up. Or just a …

Raising the Pine

The welwitschia mirabilis

lives, knotted, for thousands of years
out in the African sun. Its two leaves
become a tangled mass of time

as they grow outward.

O Namibia. O …