Life As Energy

Opening the Mind to a New Science of Life

Alexis Mari Pietak

Out of print

Quick Look

  • 'Masterpiece of a brilliant young mind.' Dr. S. J. Goerner, author of After the Clockwork Universe
  • An original and ground-breaking book which argues that the 'livingness' of a life form is a real kind of energy
  • 'I am most impressed by the clarity and breadth of the many concepts Life as Energy explains at a level accessible to a general reader.' Michael Sayer, Queen's University, Canada

An exciting new scientific thinker argues that the 'livingness' of a life form is a very real kind of energy which must be recognised alongside heat and light. An entirely new, holistic and rational science of life.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Philosophy of the Natural World
125 b/w illustrations
280 pages
Publication date:
24 Feb 2011


To many modern scientists, a living thing is not significantly different from a lifeless object, and is to be understood in terms of its basic parts (genes and molecules). So while science has given us many wonderful things, it has also taken something essential away: our ability to seriously consider life as a unique form of energy.

Alexis Pietak, an exciting new scientific thinker, argues that the 'livingness' of a life form is a very real kind of energy which must be recognized along with other kinds of energy such as heat and light. In this book she builds an entirely new, holistic and rational science of life which could enhance our understanding of individual life forms, ecological systems, and even human sustainability on our planet.

This is an original and groundbreaking book which highlights a crucial missing element in mainstream science.


'Masterpiece of a brilliant young mind, Life as Energy exquisitely illustrates the elemental links between the hidden dynamics of energy physics, the connecting creativity of our planet's living web, and the unhappy yearnings of our now profoundly out-of-place human lives. Advancing the vision of such masterworks as James Lovelock's Gaia and D'arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form, the world needs more of Dr. Pietak's work soon.'
-- Dr. S. J. Goerner, Director The Integral Science Institute, author of After the Clockwork Universe.

'Life as Energy is a wide ranging, well written, and readable book drawing important parallels between physics concepts such as energy and quantum mechanics system states and the characteristics of complex living systems. The result is a novel framework that helps make sense of biological life cycles, ecology, and sustainable interactions with our environments. I am most impressed by the clarity and breadth of the many concepts Life as Energy explains at a level accessible to a general reader.'
-- Michael Sayer, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Queen’s University, Canada

'Dr Pietak gives us a renewed appreciation for the awe-inspiring, perplexing features of living systems and demonstrates how we can utilise "imaginative rationality" in their scientific comprehension. She also suggests how these alternative perspectives can be applied in the fields of ecology, agriculture and healthcare. Dr Pietak gifts us with a way to make a powerful difference in how we live and how we relate with ecosystems and the entire planet.'
-- Ruth Parnell, Nexus

'The book treats a combination of in-depth biology and science, and can therefore be recommended to those who are interested in quantum physics.'
-- Juul Hochsentbach, Choice Point Magazine

'This interesting and innovative book has much to offer. Author and biophysicist Alexis Mari Pietak challenges us to adopt different mindsets in her attempts to apply the principles of quantum mechanics to leaf growth, and generalise her physics thinking to ideas of thermodynamically optimal ecosystems and the central notion of "Life as Energy".

'Ultimately I share Pietak's hope that "this work will provide a new paradigm" not only for understanding "Life as Energy", but also for a more "sustainable integration of human activities with the natural world". Pietak's work parallels many studies by SNM members (Goodwin, Ho, Sheldrake) and shares with these the desire to promote a new holistic and organic science of life that dethrones and reinvents old "-isms".

'In conclusion, "Life as Energy" is a bold, ambitious and visionary attempt to again shake biology out of the materialistic doldrums. Pietak is not the first to suggest the need for a "New Science of Life", but she is definitely among a rather small community of pioneers, and her contributions in this book are innovative, important and "imaginative" in the best sense of the word.'
--Professor Martin Lockley, Scientific and Medical Network Review


Alexis Pietak, PhD, is a biophysicist, biomedical scientist, and author. Alexis divides her time between the ocean lapped shores of Dunedin, New Zealand, and the deciduous woodlands of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Life as Energy is her first book.

You can also visit the author's own website at


For more information about this book and its ideas, visit Alexis Pietak's Organic Mechanics website.

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