May 23, 2014

Auckland Writers Festival 2014: "Science and the big questions" with Jim Al-Khalili

Guest post by Kim, Information Services, Central City Library.

“Physicists want Einstein to be wrong!”  -- Jim Al-Khalili OBE

Jim Al-Khalili  (photo by Furnace Ltd)
Jim Al-Khalili is a great speaker, he is engaging, he has the ability to make people laugh, and he can make any topic approachable, without dumbing it down. I decided this within only a few minutes of his presentation "Science and the Big Questions". This is a man who knows his topic – science in general, physics in particular – so well that he’s comfortable enough to really enjoy it and encourage others to enjoy it. Many scientists and academics in general seem to be very guarded about their knowledge, but Mr Al-Khalili believes his knowledge should be shared.

Although the facilitator, Shaun Hendy (lecturer in physics at the University of Auckland) structured the talk in accordance with topics covered in Mr Al-Khalili’s latest book, Paradox, the dialogue seemed quite easy and not at all restrained. In fact, Mr Al-Khalili observed at one stage how great it was that an author of a book about science was included at a writers’ festival, and conversely, how strange he thought it that ministers in New Zealand’s government don’t each have a science advisor (as they do in the UK).

It was great to see such a crowd of people gathered to a conversation about science who weren’t all students of science (a poll was taken through show of hands), so enjoying every moment. If you have the opportunity to see Mr Al-Khalili in person, do. And subscribe to his podcast (you can find it here). And read his book.

Ditulis Oleh : Karen Craig // 08:17


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