07 Apr 16

In this lecture, historian of science Sophia Roosth asks: At what pace must life proceed in order to count as life? How do qualities such as speed, slowness, time, and temperature actually shape the ways in which we think about life as form, pattern, or process? What is the place of latency in the life sciences and allied disciplines? Roosth interrogates these questions historically and anthropologically by attending to a variety of scientific communities, among them geobiologists and micropaleontologists seeking ancient microbial life-forms fossilized in stone; polar scientists excavating organic substances frozen in Antarctic riverbeds; resurrection scientists seeking to insert ancient proteins into living cells; and researchers at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which stores samples of the world’s seeds for post-apocalyptic renewal.