“The Age of Living Machines” honored by the American Institute of Physics | MIT News

Cortez Deacetis

Harmony has constantly been important to MIT President Emerita Susan Hockfield. Whether navigating the administrative challenges of a earth-course research university or championing new products of interdisciplinary analysis — and often both at the very same time — Hockfield has a eager appreciation for bringing disparate elements together for the better superior.

Her e-book, “The Age of Residing Machines,” posted in April 2019 by W.W. Norton & Company, celebrates the people and science stories behind the “convergence revolution,” which built-in the lifetime sciences with engineering and the physical sciences to reshape the scientific business. The American Institute of Physics honored her crafting with a 2020 Science Interaction Award, citing the narrative’s breadth of knowledge and optimism as crucial things in “speaking in opposition to anti-science and reaching the community.”

“The abiding desire of non-experts and non-engineers, my focus on viewers, to comprehend why they may well have self esteem in a better long run was a impressive inspiration,” Hockfield claims.

“At a time when it is quick to experience that self-assurance in science is at a reduced point, the enthusiasm of non-experts and non-engineers for the doable long term technologies inspired me to write technological know-how tales they could recognize.”

“The Age of Residing Machines” describes how scientists from quite a few disciplines, at MIT and elsewhere, are reworking elements of the all-natural earth, these kinds of as proteins, viruses, and biological signaling pathways, into “living” methods for some of the most vital — and challenging — demands of the 21st century, these as offering adequate electricity, food items, drinking water, and health and fitness treatment for the world’s developing populace. The AIP judges be aware that Hockfield presents “a stability of information and facts with no overloading the reader” and connect with it a “joy to read, the two fascinating and entertaining.”

AIP has introduced its Science Conversation Awards each 12 months considering the fact that 1968 to realize the greatest science writing of the prior 12 months. The award recognizes the writers’ attempts to increase the general public’s appreciation of the physical sciences, astronomy, math, and related scientific fields.

Hockfield is president emerita, a professor of neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Most cancers Analysis. From 2004 to 2012, she served as the 16th president of MIT, the initially lifestyle scientist and initial female in that job. As a biologist, she pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody engineering in brain investigation, identifying proteins that impact brain progress as a result of neural activity early in everyday living.

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