The Genesis Quest (Hardcover)

The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth

By Michael Marshall

University of Chicago Press, 9780226715230, 328pp.

Publication Date: October 22, 2020

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

How did life begin? Why are we here? These are some of the most profound questions we can ask.
 
For almost a century, a small band of eccentric scientists has struggled to answer these questions and explain one of the greatest mysteries of all: how and why life began on Earth. There are many different proposals, and each idea has attracted passionate believers who promote it with an almost religious fervor, as well as detractors who reject it with equal passion.
 
But the quest to unravel life’s genesis is not just a story of big ideas. It is also a compelling human story, rich in personalities, conflicts, and surprising twists and turns. Along the way the journey takes in some of the greatest discoveries in modern biology, from evolution and cells to DNA and life’s family tree. It is also a search whose end may finally be in sight.
 
In The Genesis Quest, Michael Marshall shows how the quest to understand life’s beginning is also a journey to discover the true nature of life, and by extension our place in the universe.


About the Author

Michael Marshall is a science writer interested in life sciences and the environment. He has a BA and MPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in science communication from Imperial College, London. He has worked as a staff journalist at New Scientist and the BBC. Since 2017 he has been a freelance writer, published by outlets including BBC Future, the Observer, Nature, New Scientist, and the Telegraph. In 2019 he was shortlisted for News Item of the Year by the Association of British Science Writers. He lives in Devon, UK, with his wife and daughter.


Praise For The Genesis Quest: The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth

“The story of the quest to understand genesis is a universal one, in which everyone can find pleasure and fascination. By asking how life came to be, we are implicitly asking why we are here, whether life exists on other planets, and what it means to be alive. This book is the story of a group of fragile, flawed humans who chose to wrestle with these questions. By exploring the origin of life, these people have caught a glimpse of the infinite.”

— Michael Marshall