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The Origin Of Life – Astrobiology With Sarah Imari Walker

Sara Walker: The Origin of Life on Earth and Alien Worlds | Lex Fridman Podcast #198

Sara Walker: The Origin of Life on Earth and Alien Worlds | Lex Fridman Podcast #198 – Jul 9, 2021

Sara Imari Walker is an astrobiologist and theoretical physicist interested in the origin of life.


Ask An Astrobiologist Episode 11, Astrobiology at NASA

Ask An Astrobiologist Episode 11, Astrobiology at NASA – Feb 28, 2018

Physics & the Origin of Life with Dr. Sara Imari Walker. Dr. Walker is a co-founder of SAGANet and currently an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University! She holds a doctorate in theoretical physics from Dartmouth. Her research focuses on questions surrounding the origin of life. Aired February 28, 2018. Hosted by Dr. Sanjoy Som (Blue Marble Space Institute of Science).


Sean Carroll’s Mindscape 79 | Sara Imari Walker on Information and the Origin of Life

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape 79 | Sara Imari Walker on Information and the Origin of Life – Jan 13, 2020

We are all alive, but “life” is something we struggle to understand. How do we distinguish a “living organism” from an emergent dynamical system like a hurricane, or a resource-consuming chemical reaction like a forest fire, or an information-processing system like a laptop computer? There is probably no one crisp set of criteria that delineates life from non-life, but it’s worth the exercise to think about what we really mean, especially as the quest to find life outside the confines of the Earth picks up steam. Sara Imari Walker planned to become a cosmologist before shifting her focus to astrobiology, and is now a leading researcher on the origin and nature of life. We talk about what life is and how to find it, with a special focus on the role played by information and computation in living beings.

Sara Imari Walker received her Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth college. She is currently Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, Deputy Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, and Associate Director of the ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems. She is the co-founder of the astrobiology social network SAGANet, and serves on the Board of Directors for Blue Marble Space.


Dr. Sarah Imari Walker – What Is Life: The Secret to Understanding Ourselves? John Templeton Foundation

Dr. Sarah Imari Walker – What Is Life: The Secret to Understanding Ourselves? – Dec 21, 2020

“There’s this assumption that we make that because we are alive we actually recognize life when we see it or we understand what life is. And I think that’s a really flawed viewpoint.”

Dr. Sarah Imari Walker, astrobiologist and theoretical physicist

Have we encountered alien life already and just not realized it? And could deepening our understanding of life in the universe transform our understanding of ourselves? Explore the profound questions driving the research of astrobiologist Dr. Sara Imari Walker of Arizona State University, recipient of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

“Life is literally the physics of creativity,” says Walker. “It’s hard to imagine what it’s going to be like when we actually understand what we are,” she says. “I think we take for granted how special we are. We are a very odd kind of system to exist.”

Learn more about Dr. Walker and their team’s efforts to expand our definition of life, and to seek whether there are fundamental, universal laws to describe life analogous to the laws of gravitation.

It’s a quest for knowledge that could not only enlarge our vision of the universe — it could transform humanity’s understanding of itself.


Find Dr. Sarah Imari Walker online

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