Jeremy England

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Jeremy England
Alma mater
Known forDissipation-driven adaptation hypothesis of abiogenesis
Scientific career
ThesisTheory and Simulation of Explicit Solvent Effects on Protein Folding in Vitro and in Vivo (2009)
Doctoral advisorVijay S. Pande[2]
WebsiteOfficial Website

Jeremy England is an American physicist who uses statistical physics arguments to explain the spontaneous emergence of life, and consequently, the modern synthesis of evolution.[3][4][5] England terms this process "dissipation-driven adaptation".[6]

Early life[edit]

England's mother was the daughter of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors while his father was a non-observant Lutheran.[7] England was born in Boston[8] and raised in a college town in New Hampshire. He was raised Jewish but did not study Judaism until he attended graduate school at Oxford University. He now considers himself an Orthodox Jew.[7]

England earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Harvard in 2003. After being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he studied at St. John's College, Oxford, from 2003 until 2005. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Stanford in 2009.[1][9] In 2011, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Physics Department as an Assistant Professor.[8] In 2019, he joined GlaxoSmithKline as a Senior Director in artificial intelligence and machine learning.[10]

Theoretical work[edit]

England has developed a hypothesis of the physics of the origins of life, that he calls 'dissipation-driven adaptation'.[3][5] The hypothesis holds that random groups of molecules can self-organize to more efficiently absorb and dissipate heat from the environment. His hypothesis states that such self-organizing systems are an inherent part of the physical world.[7]

Pulitzer-Prize winning science historian Edward J. Larson said that if England can demonstrate his hypothesis to be true, "he could be the next Darwin."[7]

In popular culture[edit]

A fictionalized version of England and his 'dissipation-driven adaptation' theory features in Dan Brown's novel Origin.


England shared APS 2021 Irwin Oppenheim Award with Sumantra Sarkar.[11] He is also listed in a Forbes "30 under 30" in science.[12][13]

England was selected as Rhodes Scholar in 2003.[14] Also in 2003, the Hertz Foundation awarded England a Hertz Fellowship.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Curriculum Vitae- Jeremy L. England (PDF),, retrieved December 17, 2014
  2. ^ England, Jeremy (2009). Theory and Simulation of Explicit Solvent Effects on Protein Folding in Vitro and in Vivo (PhD thesis). ISBN 978-1243607553.
  3. ^ a b Wolchover, Natalie (Jan 28, 2014). "A New Physics Theory of Life". Scientific American. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  4. ^ Tafarella, Santi (Jan 28, 2014). "Dissipation-Driven Adaptive Organization: Is Jeremy England The Next Charles Darwin?". Prometheus Unbound. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Jones, Orion (Dec 9, 2014). "MIT Physicist Proposes New "Meaning of Life"". Big Think. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Perunov, Nikolai; Marsland, Robert; England, Jeremy (2016). "Statistical Physics of Adaptation". Physical Review X. 6 (2): 021036. arXiv:1412.1875. Bibcode:2016PhRvX...6b1036P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.021036. S2CID 15928632.
  7. ^ a b c d Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life" by Simona Weinglass, The Times of Israel, October 29, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Faculty biography of Jeremy England, MIT Dept. of Physics, accessed Jan. 9, 2015.
  9. ^ England, Jeremy. "Curriculum Vitae". englandlab. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  10. ^ "GlaxoSmithKline recruits a new coach and top player for their AI/ML team out of Genentech and MIT". San Francisco Biotechnology Network News. July 11, 2019.
  11. ^ "Irwin Oppenheim Award". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  12. ^ "Jeremy England". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-01-29.[Forbes]
  13. ^ a b "Jeremy England - Fanny and John Hertz Foundation". Hertz Foundation. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  14. ^ Ken Gewertz (2002-12-12). "Five Harvard students selected as 2003 Rhodes Scholars".

^ seems to have lost most of the content on his profile and lists a broken link to the 2012 30-under-30 in Science. The Hertz Foundation profile mentions the 2018 Forbes 30-under-30. However, neither the 2012 nor the 2018 official listing pages on list England.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]