University Events

Archive Items

Fickling Lecture on Developments in Children’s Literature: What is life? by Sir Paul Nurse

Sir Paul Nurse, Chief Executive, Francis Crick Institute

Date/Time: Tuesday 9 March 2021, 5.30pm

Add to Google Calendar

Hosted by Professor Jo Robinson, with introduction from Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University

We are delighted to announce that Sir Paul Nurse will deliver the 2021 Fickling Lecture on Developments in Children’s Literature. The aim of the Fickling Lecture is to reflect on the importance of children’s literature to culture and how children’s literature shapes and contributes to the way we think about ourselves and the world around us.

Nobel prize-winner Paul Nurse has spent his career revealing how living cells work. In this lecture, he will consider the question ‘What is Life?’ by discussing five great ideas of biology, ranging from the ‘cell’ to ‘the logic of life’. By considering these concepts, a direction of travel is set towards a definition of life.


Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist whose discoveries have helped to explain how the cell controls its cycle of growth and division.

Paul’s contributions to cell biology and cancer research were recognised with a knighthood in 1999. In addition, Paul’s endeavours relating to the discovery of cell cycle regulatory molecules saw him jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001.

Sir Paul's book, What is Life?, is available to buy now from our university bookseller Blackwell's:

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.