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Q&A | May 20, 2013 0 comments
Describe your latest work. When I started working on Plant-Thinking in 2008, I had no idea that the project would turn out to be as broad as it did.... Continue »
Brian GreeneDescribe your latest project.
My latest book is Icarus at the Edge of Time — it's a futuristic reimagining of the classic Icarus tale. In this version, rather than wax wings and a journey too near the sun, a boy takes a small spaceship and challenges the tremendous power of a black hole. In the original tale, Icarus's journey results in his coming to an untimely end. In this incarnation, Einstein's relativity kicks in and results in a rather different ending to the story. Icarus survives but finds that the reality with which he was familiar is gone. You don't need any science background to follow the story — instead, through the story itself, you become familiar with one of the most profound insights revealed by Einstein. While the story is fictional, the core science underlying the narrative is real. I like to call this a work of science in fiction as opposed to science fiction.
The recognition that there are so many people who see science as something they struggled to get through in school, but, once done, is a subject that can safely be left to scientists. I feel I'm on a mission to show that science is so much more than that — that science is a way of life, a perspective. Science provides great power and has the capacity for untold inspiration. I write to bring science across in accessible and unusual ways — an approach that I feel can slowly shift science from the cultural sidelines to the cultural mainstream.
Have you ever taken the Geek Test? How did you rate?
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If you could be reincarnated for one day to live the life of any scientist or writer, who would you choose and why?
What was your best subject in high school? Your worst?
Describe the best museum of science and/or industry you've ever visited and what made it great.
By the end of your life, where do you think humankind will be in terms of new science and technological advancement?
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Brian Greene is the author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos. He was educated at Harvard University and at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 1996, he joined Columbia University as a professor of physics and mathematics. He has lectured at both a general and a technical level around the world and is internationally acknowledged for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory. In May 2008 he chaired the first annual World Science Festival, a gathering of the world's leading scientists in New York City. Brian Greene lives in Andes, New York, and New York City.