Workshop on Science and Religion in Journalism:
METHOD AND MADNESS
What we know about nature certainly affects the way we see our place in the universe, but so does how we think about what we know: the scientific method itself. This talk will explore the ways the scientific method has changed over the past four centuries (from Galileo through Einstein to today’s string and brain and multiverse theorists), how those changes have influenced not only science but culture (and especially our relationship to religion), and how one non-scientist learned to write about it all.
Richard Panek is the author of two books on the history and philosophy of science for non-specialists, Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens (Viking/Penguin, 1999) and The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes (Viking/Penguin, 2005). He is now writing a third, Let There Be Dark: At the Dawn of the Next Universe (Houghton Mifflin, 2010), based on an article he wrote for The New York Times Magazine on dark matter, dark energy, and the frontiers of cosmology. He has frequently written about the intersection of science and culture for various sections of The New York Times, as well as for Smithsonian, Natural History, Discover, Esquire, Outside, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Seed, and many other magazines, and in a monthly column for Natural History. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Science Writing, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, and an Antarctic Artists and Writers grant from the National Science Foundation.