In his only New York talk, MIT physicist and best-selling author Alan Lightman will be at Le Moyne College on Friday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. to present “SEARCHING: Are We Just Atoms & Molecules? Or Something Else?” The event will take place in Grewen Auditorium on the Le Moyne campus and is free and open to the public.
In his talk, Lightman will explore key elements and watch excerpts from his latest project, “SEARCHING: Our Quest for Meaning in the Age of Science,”
a three-part mini-series that premiered on public television stations nationwide in January 2023. (Watch the trailer here.)
The mini-series was made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
“SEARCHING” takes viewers along on Lightman’s journey of exploration – from prehistoric paintings in a French cave to a giant subatomic particle accelerator in Switzerland; from a Harvard laboratory where biologists are attempting to create living cells from scratch to the laboratories that detected the first gravitational waves; and to the quiet of a Buddhist temple. Along the way, he investigates how key findings of modern science help us find our bearings in the cosmos. What do new discoveries tell us about ourselves and how do we find meaning in them? Why do we yearn for permanence in an impermanent universe? Are we more than just atoms and molecules?
The event will also feature a panel with students and two Le Moyne faculty members, Cinnamon Pace Ph.D., from the biological and environmental sciences, and Dan Roche, Ph.D., from communications and film studies. A Q&A for audience participation will follow.
As both a physicist and a writer, Lightman is a rare talent. After years on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lightman’s first novel, Einstein’s Dreams, was released in 1992 and became an international best-seller. On March 12, 2023, The New York Times ran an interview
with Lightman following the release of his latest book, The Transcendent Brain.
The talk at Le Moyne will be one of only four given by Lightman in the country; the other talks will be at MIT, Penn and Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn. The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Purcell School of Professional Studies, the Madden School of Business, the offices of the President and Provost and the Sustainability Committee. Contact Don McCrimmon at [email protected]
for more information.