Life, the Universe, and everything—42 fundamental questions Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is found to be 42 - but the meaning of this is left open to interpretation. We take it to mean that there are 42 fundamental questions which must be answered on the road to full enlightenment, and we attempt a first draft (or personal selection) of these ultimate questions, on topics ranging from the cosmological constant and origin of the Universe to the origin of life and consciousness.

altmetric score

  • 65.28

author list (cited authors)

  • Allen, R. E., & Lidström, S.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • January 2017