“What is Death?” seminar today remembers Schrödinger’s lectures in Trinity

Speakers from humanities and sciences are exploring the theme of death

A lunchtime seminar exploring the theme of “What is Death?” is taking place in Trinity today, marking the 75th anniversary of Erwin Schrödinger’s public lectures in Trinity.

Today’s seminar explores the subject of death from cross-disciplinary perspectives. Fiona Hallinan, who established Trinity’s first Department of Ultimology for the study of the dead or dying in 2015, is chairing today’s seminar.

The seminar series aims to strike a balance between speakers from humanities disciplines as well as the sciences. Today’s speakers include Ellen Finn, a graduate researcher in the Trinity Long Room Hub and Alexandra Grieser, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religions and Theology. Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry, Ann Murphy, and Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) are also speaking today.

The seminar series marks 75 years since physicist and Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger gave three public lectures at Trinity on “What is Life?” in 1943. The lectures, which were published in a book the following year, had a significant impact on the development of molecular biology.

“What is Death?” marks the second seminar of the Schrödinger series. The first seminar, which explored “What is Memory?”, took place at the beginning of summer. This seminar was chaired by Dr Deborah Thorpe, a researcher in the Trinity Long Room Hub.

Next week, Schrödinger’s legacy is to be marked with a two-day biology conference led by Trinity. The conference is taking place in the National Concert Hall, where Daniel Dennett from Tufts University in Massachusetts is set to give the keynote speech on “The Future of Life”. Speakers are expected to address contemporary issues in biology, such as the basis of the mind and consciousness; ageing; gene editing; synthetic biology; bioenergetics; and the origin of life.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.