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Harold Morowitz  //  Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy

Robinson Professor Harold Morowitz

Robinson Professor Harold Morowitz

Biophysicist Harold Morowitz became a Robinson Professor after a long career of teaching and research at Yale University as Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and serving for five years as Master of Pierson College. The author of several books, Morowitz has written extensively on the thermodynamics of living systems, as well as on popular topics in science. Included in those publications are Mayonnaise and the Origins of Life, Cosmic Joy and Local Pain, The Thermodynamics of Pizza, Entropy and the Magic Flute, and The Kindly Dr. Guillotin. In his current research, Morowitz is investigating the interface of biology and information sciences and continues his exploration of the origins of life. Other books are The Origin of Cellular Life: Metabolism Recapitulates Biogenesis and The Facts of Life (co-authored with James Trefil). He is Staff Scientist and former Director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Complexity. His book The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex was published in 2002 by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Morowitz is principal investigator on the multi-institutional grant “From Geochemistry to the Origin of Life,” which is centered at the Santa Fe Institute and includes George Mason University and four other research centers.

Office Number: (703) 993-4334


Not Your Grandfather’s Origin of Life Theory

The Santa Fe Institute Bulletin vol. 26, 2012 reviews the Origin of Life Theory resulting from fifty years of study carried out by Professor Morowitz and his colleagues at George Mason University and the Santa Fe Institute. Changes in the theory are stressed. Click here to read the full article.


Mason and the Santa Fe Institute Plan STEM Summer Program for High School Teachers

Robinson Professor Harold Morowitz is a part of a planning committee for a summer program for high school science teachers. The program is being planned by George Mason University and the Santa Fe Institute, focusing on “The Origin of Life from Geochemistry to the Genetic Code.” Click here for more information.


Colloquium on “The Origins of Life”

On Friday, November 19th, 2010, Robinson Professor Harold Morowitz gave a presentation to students in the Honors College. He spoke about the origins of life describing how scientists look at the “phenomenon from the top down by looking for molecular features common to all organisms and from the bottom up by looking for those features of geochemistry, […]


Transition Metal Catalysts Led to Origin of Life?

WASHINGTON: Scientists have proposed that a third type of catalyst , apart from biochemicals-such as amino acids and nucleotides and biological catalysts (proteins or ribozymes), was responsible for origin of life on Earth . According to Harold Morowitz of George Mason University (GMU), Vijayasarathy Srinivasan of GMU, and Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute, […]


Professor Morowitz Has Works Published

Harold Morowitz, Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy, cowrote “Ligand Field Theory and the Origin of Life as an Emergent Feature of the Periodic Table,” which was published in the Biological Bulletin 219, 2010. He also cowrote “How Life Began, the Emergence of Sparse Metabolic Networks,” which was published in the Journal of Cosmology […]