Imagination with a Straight Jacket
Alan Lightman is a writer, physicist, and social entrepreneur. He has served on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was the first person at MIT to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities. He is the author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, including the international best seller Einstein’s Dreams and The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award.
This episode goes to both what’s epic in scope and to what’s more intimate and personal. Epic is knowledge now about how the universe began and that it will end with the sun basically engulfing the earth and then burning out. More personal is that the book explores the moral, even religious issues that scientific knowledge brings with it. Most of all, this episode explores the act of intellectual inquiry and exploration through the careers of leading scientists.