At the Crossroads of Science and the Humanities


Does science ever intersect with art, language, and literature? Physicist, novelist, essayist, and author of the bestseller Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman, explored this question and investigated the relationship between the sciences and the humanities in the 2015 IHR Distinguished Lecture in February of 2015.

Lightman is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was the first faculty member to receive an appointment in both the humanities and sciences. Through works such as The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew (2014), Lightman explores everything from multiple universes to the perception of time to the question of God’s existence, illustrating along the way the value of being a humanist and physicist simultaneously.

Lightman’s prolific writing reflects his long engagement with both the sciences and the humanities, with works of fiction (such as Good Benito and Song of Two Worlds) and nonfiction (such as Great Ideas in Physics and The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th Century Science) counting among his more than twenty books published to date.

A major university and community event, the Annual Distinguished Lecturer program brings to campus a prominent humanities scholar whose work highlights the importance of humanities research. While on campus, speakers discuss humanities trends with the Institute’s advisory board and participate in informal sessions, allowing ASU colleagues to discuss related research interests.

Parking at ASU Tempe Campus: The closest visitor parking structures/lots to Armstrong Hall are the Rural Rd Parking Structure, Apache Blvd Structure, and Lot 27. Please see this parking map to locate those and other visiting parking structures if any of the above mentioned lots are full. All visitor parking requires a small fee. Unfortunately, we cannot offer parking validations.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Armstrong Hall/Great Hall, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

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