What Is Life and How Might It Be Sustained?: Reflections in a Pandemic


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What Is Life and How Might It Be Sustained?: Reflections in a Pandemic Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Taylor & Francis Ltd
string(2) "98"
Pages: 98 Illustrations and other contents: 8 Line drawings, black and white; 11 Halftones, black and white; 19 Illustrations, black and white Language: English ISBN: 9781032303888 Categories: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author Prof Jim Lynch is widely known and very experienced, well-connected with wide international networks, and globally distinguished. He was awarded the UNESCO Prize in Microbiology and Einstein Medal and Distinguished Scientist of the US Department of Agriculture. His OUP textbook Soil Microbiology was a bestseller. Taps directly into the topical area of the COVID-19 pandemic and One Health. Affordable and accessible to a wide interdisciplinary audience.

Weight0.371 kg


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Lynch is not afraid of asking the big philosophical and scientific questions of our time, and, in this wide-ranging and fascinating book, he deploys an enormous armoury of multidisciplinary knowledge and personal experience to address them. Anyone reading this challenging, authoritative work cannot fail to learn a lot, be inspired to value asking questions and to admire those striving to answer them. -- Dame Glynis M. Breakwell, DBE DL FRSA FAcSS, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, social psychologist and public policy adviser and researcher, UK With grace and candor, Jim Lynch provides sensitive and thoughtful discourse on the most meaningful of questions. The origin of life and the nature of goodness and evil are amongst the many topics probed in this book and each is crafted in keen scientific thought. The issues are presented in a cosmic framework: food security, human health, deforestation, climate change, and pandemics. COVID-19, the contemporary global pandemic afflicting all nations, is addressed scientifically but also as a philosophical and ethical challenge. Jim Lynch brings to each of these issues a solid background in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, soil science, agricultural science, philosophy, and ethics. -- Rita R. Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA This is a book for everyone interested in modern science, from the curious to the professional scientist. Professor Jim Lynch reflects on the advances in science during his long and distinguished career in microbiology, soil and forestry health and sustainability and governmental control measures for the environment. This includes a detailed analysis of the recent COVID epidemic and virology, and also the political aspects where certain factors remain opaque. There is considerable fascinating scientific detail throughout. Permeating the book there is the theme of trying to discover what is going on in the deepest levels of matter, as elucidated by physics, chemistry, mathematics and ultimately philosophy and religion. There is a sweeping examination of these subjects from the Greeks onwards and many of the leading thinkers in these fields are discussed. -- Peter Williams, BSc PhD MB BS, retired Physician, UK

Author Biography

Jim Lynch graduated with BTech in Industrial Chemistry from Loughborough University, and then completed his PhD and DSc in Microbiology at Kings College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society of Arts, and is a Chartered Chemist, Biologist, Scientist, and Environmentalist. He has worked at BBSRC research institutes, universities as visiting professor (Oxford, Reading, Kings College London, Imperial College, Washington State, Oregon State and Helsinki), and companies as non-executive director or advisor. Prof. Lynch was Dean of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission Research Agency, Chairman of the Biology Division of the International Union of Soil Sciences, Coordinator of the OECD Research Programme on Biological Resource Management, Board Member of the European Forest Institute, Chair of Governors University of Chichester, and is Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences Emeritus at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey. He has travelled extensively giving more than 60 keynote international lectures and published or edited 15 books previously and 300 papers and patents, as well as serving on many international boards. He was awarded the UNESCO Prize in Microbiology and Einstein Medal, Distinguished Scientist of the US Department of Agriculture, and the Japanese Government Research Award for Foreign Specialists. He is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (KHS), and a Freeman of the City of London. Prof. Lynch is a keen sportsman and is married to Mary; they have four children and seven grandchildren.