Each year the American Association for the Advancement of Science chooses a speaker to deliver the annual John Wesley Powell Memorial Lecture, in honor of the great American geologist who mapped the Grand Canyon in the 1870s. Previous lecturers have included Carl Sagan and Oliver Sacks. I was invited to give the 2009 lecture. The title of my talk is, What Is Life, An Ancient Question Meets 21st Century Science. This video combines an audio recording of my talk with the slides I presented. I hope you enjoy it.For more information on the lecture series, visit http://www.aaas-swarm.org/lectures.html For more information on my book Microcosm, on which some of the lecture is based, see here.