Five Burning Questions with Humanology's Luke O'Neill

PROFESSOR Luke O’Neill – superstar scientist by day, lead singer of his band, The Metabolix, by night – loves answering questions. So much so that he has been dubbed the ‘best immunologist in the world’ and ranked in the top one per cent of most-cited researchers in his field.


His new book, Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Amazing Existence, answers twenty such questions, from why we laugh, to why we’re attracted to certain people, as well as how the world began, how it all will end, and whether or not robots are going to save or enslave us. Other fascinating chapters ask how we got to be so smart, why sex with a caveman was a good idea, and just how do Irish mammies always know best.


To celebrate the release of Humanology today, we couldn’t help but ask Luke some more questions. With his characteristic wit and humour, he was delighted to answer them, and impart some wisdom on us!


What has been your favourite part of having Humanology published?

The thrill of seeing all the wonderful pictures and artwork, which do such a brilliant job of conveying complex things simply and revealing the wonder and fun of science.


How do you balance your time between being the number-one immunologist in the world, and still find time to play guitar in your band, The Metabolix?

I don’t. I managed to clone myself so there are actually three of me.


How long do we have left to live?!

Ah yes! It could be one minute, or it could be 100 years, so make the most of it as best you can!


What is your favourite chapter in Humanology?

I like the one on the International Space Station and the Large Hadron Collider. It was built with huge human ingenuity, involving thousands of scientists from lots of countries all working together on big scientific questions about life, the universe and everything else in between ...


What would you do on your last day on earth?

What, before I join a mission to Mars?! I would spend the time with the people I love ... and eat lots of ice cream.


If, like us, you’ve been charmed by Luke’s hilarious answers, and your interest has been spiked by his fascinating insights, make sure to check out his book, Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Amazing Existence available now online and in all good bookshops.


Follow the hashtag #Humanology for updates on Luke O’Neill and his book.

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