56: Janna Levin: Spots, Blues, and Madmen — revealing cosmic mysteries


Janna Levin

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Theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin is an-award winning author of both nonfiction and fiction. In her interview on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast, she emphasizes the important role of creativity in science, and life in general. We discussed Levin’s research on the topology of the universe and black holes, including the Event Horizon Telescope. We also discuss her highly-anticipated upcoming book, “Black Hole Survival Guide.” Subscribe to my newsletter to receive show notes for this episode: https://briankeating.com/mailing_list...

  • 00:03:17 Science is part of our culture.
  • 00:12:17 Cultivating communication skills in scientists.
  • 00:16:29 Gödel, Popper, and what constitutes good science.
  • 00:23:55 Extra spatial dimensions.
  • 00:31:45 “Every kid is a scientist.”
  • 00:37:26 Illuminating black holes.
  • 00:44:50 The relationship between author and reader.
  • 00:52:58 What can the pandemic teach us?
  • 00:56:30 What did Levin think was impossible until she did it?

Janna Levin is a professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. She earned a PhD in theoretical physics from MIT. She is also the Chair and Founding Director of the Science Studios at Pioneer Works, a nonprofit center blending science and art. Levin is the author of both fiction and nonfiction books, winning literary prizes and a Guggenheim Fellowship for science writing. Pre-order Levin’s book “Black Hole Survival Guide” here: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Survival... Buy her previous books here: http://jannalevin.com/black-hole-blue... Watch Levin’s interview with Brian Greene for The Broadcast at Pioneer Works: https://pioneerworks.org/broadcast/br... Watch Levin’s TED Talk “The sound the universe makes” here: https://youtu.be/eLz9TvxGoKs Watch the NOVA special “Black Hole Apocalypse” hosted by Levin here: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/b... Find Levin on the web: http://jannalevin.com and Twitter: https://twitter.com/JannaLevin