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The Origin and Future of Life

43 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 15 April 2013

On Start the Week Jonathan Freedland journeys from the origin of life to the possibilities of new life-forms with the geneticist Adam Rutherford. Steve Jones updates the Bible from the point of view of modern science and Barbara Sahakian looks at our ability to make decisions, and whether 'smart drugs' should be used to boost our reactions. The artist Susan Aldworth is inspired by neuro-scientific imagery to explore the relationship between mind and body in her portraits of those with epilepsy and in doing so asks how this material corresponds or contrasts with the subject's sense of self.

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

  • Steve Jones

    Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London and the president of the Galton Institute.


    The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold as Science is published by Little, Brown.


    The Serpent's Promise

  • Adam Rutherford

    Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, writer and broadcaster.


    Creation: The Origin of Life / The Future of Life is published by Viking.


    Adam Rutherford

  • Barbara Sahakian

    Barbara Sahakian is a neuroscientist.


    Bad Moves: How Decision Making Goes Wrong and the Ethics of Smart Drugs, co-written with Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta, is published by Oxford University Press.


    Barbara Sahakian

  • Susan Aldworth

    Susan Aldworth is an artist.


    Susan Aldworth: The Portrait Anatomised is on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London until 1 September.


    Susan Aldworth

  • Susan Aldworth: The Portrait Anatomised

    Susan Aldworth, Fiona, 2012, monotype installation. Image courtesy of the artist and G V Art, London

    Susan Aldworth, Fiona, 2012, monotype installation

    Image courtesy of the artist and

    G V Art, London


Jonathan Freedland
Jonathan Freedland
Natalia Fernandez
Natalia Fernandez
Katy Hickman
Katy Hickman
Interviewed Guest
Steve Jones


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A selection of highlights from our arts and culture programmes.


  1. Image for Start the Week

    Start the Week

    Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…

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