Illinois Science Council & the Chicago Public Library present
(photo credit: Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer)
Lisa Randall, PhD
Harvard University physicist
Discussing her new book:
“DARK MATTER AND THE DINOSAURS:
The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe"
Lisa Randall, PhD, studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University where she is Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Randall is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees. Professor Randall was included in Time Magazine's “100 Most Influential People” of 2007, was among Esquire Magazine's “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.” Professor Randall's two books, Warped Passages (2005) and Knocking on Heaven’s Door (2011) were New York Times 100 Most Influential Books. Her ebook, Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space, was published in 2012.
In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs (Ecco; on-sale Oct 27, 2015), Lisa Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world — and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things. “Dark matter” and “dinosaurs” might sound like an unusual pairing. This book explores a speculative scenario in which a disk of dark matter — the elusive stuff in the universe that interacts through gravity like ordinary matter, but that doesn’t emit or absorb light, dislodged a comet from the Oort cloud that was ultimately responsible for the dinosaurs’ extinction. Working through the background and consequences that led to this proposal, Randall teaches us an enormous amount—both established and speculative—about dark matter, our Universe, our galaxy, asteroids, and comets, and the process by which scientists explore new concepts. Many people are fascinated by the idea of a multiverse—other universes not within our reach. But at least as fascinating are the many hidden worlds, both biological and physical, that we do have a chance to explore and understand. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs teaches us about known structure in the Universe and the Solar System, speculates further about possible missing elements, and illustrates the importance of preserving the elements on Earth—so long in the making—that are vital to our existence.
This program is free and first come, first served for seating in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium (385 max). There will be additional seating in adjacent rooms with a simulcast.
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Illinois Science Council
Illinois Science Council ("ISC") is an independent 501c3 organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math in our everyday lives. We showcase the scientists and research of those Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago our nation's true "City of Science." ISC serves as the science & tech complement to the region's arts & culture offerings.
We are inspired and motivated by this Carl Sagan quote: “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." Sagan also observed, "We live in a society that is exquisitely dependent upon science and technology in which hardly anyone understands anything about science and technology." ISC is certainly working to change that.
ISC explores all areas of science and technology and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach. We don't care what's been forgotten since school (or never learned in the first place). It's simply about continuing to exercise our inexhaustible human sense of curiosity. We create engaging programs open to the public (aimed at adults and accessible to teens) such as hands on chemistry (Chemistry of... Beer, Chocolate, Coffee, Honey, etc), panel discussions on science subjects in the news (Your Brain on Happiness, on Creativity, on Addiction, on Exercise, etc.), author talks, film screenings ("The Atom Smashers"), and more.