Harvard Science Book Talk: Katie Mack, "The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)," in conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson


Thursday, December 17, 2020, 5:00pm

Where Online: REGISTER
Organization/Sponsor Harvard Division of Science, Cabot Science Library, and Harvard Book Store
Speaker(s) Kadie Mack, Kim Stanley Robinson
Cost free
Contact Info science_lectures@fas.harvard.edu

We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?

In The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking), theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack takes readers on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay, and the Bounce. On December 17, Dr. Mack will be joined by Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss The End of Everything, which has been names a New York Times Notable Book of 2020, and a Best Book Of The Year by The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly.

Dr. Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, Slate, Sky & Telescope, and Cosmos Magazine, where she is a columnist. You can find her on Twitter as @AstroKatie and on Instagram as @astrokatiemack.

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed New York 2140, The Years of Rice and Salt, and 2312. In 2008, he was named a "Hero of the Environment" by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.

For more information and videos, see https://science.fas.harvard.edu/book-talks

Katie Mack book cover; portraits of Mack and Kim Stanley Robinson