October 10, 2008
Lawrence M. Krauss is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Director of the new Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. He is an internationally famous theoretical physicist who focuses on the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He is the author of seven best-selling books, including the international bestseller, The Physics of Star Trek and Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions from Plato to String Theory and Beyond. Dr. Krauss is one of North America's leading activists for the public understanding of science and has been particularly involved in issues at the intersection of science and society, leading efforts by scientists to defend the teaching of science in public schools, and he has been a strong proponent of scientific integrity in government. His essay in the New York Times about evolution and Intelligent Design in May 2005 helped spur a controversy that ultimately caused the Catholic Church to refine its position on Darwinian evolution. Most recently he has led the call for a Presidential Debate on Science and Technology as a member of the steering committee for ScienceDebate2008.org.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Lawrence Krauss explores the fear of physics, noting that some of it stems from the fact that physics contradicts basic beliefs that many people have about their place in the universe. He also addresses how others are afraid of physics because of its potential to destroy civilization, such as with atomic and nuclear weapons, and the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. He explains some of the science behind the LHC. And he talks about the misuse of quantum physics in the New Age movement, and Rhonda Byrne's The Secret and the documentary What The Bleep Do We Know.