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Event Detail (Archived)

Lewis Thomas Prize Presentation and Lecture: Carlo Rovelli, Ph.D.

  • This event already took place in April 2024
  • Caspary Auditorium

Event Details

Lewis Thomas Prize
Carlo Rovelli, Ph.D., professeur de classe exceptionnelle, Aix-Marseille University
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Speaker bio(s)

Carlo Rovelli has developed brilliant insights into cutting-edge aspects of time and space, and he has successfully communicated their key features to non-experts. His curiosity, intellect, and humanitarian spirit have synergized in these complementary quests.

Born in Verona, Italy, Dr. Rovelli attended the University of Bologna, where his passion for modern physics ignited. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees there, he went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Padua. In 1990, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh. There, he and colleagues broke new ground with the Loop Quantum Gravity Theory, which aims to reconcile the seemingly contradictory realms of quantum mechanics and relativity. He is currently seeking empirical support for this theory in the form of white holes, theoretical end products of black holes. In 2000, he moved to the Center for Theoretical Physics of Aix-Marseille University to lead its quantum gravity group.

Dr. Rovelli has written seven books for the general public, including There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness, for which he is being honored with the Lewis Thomas Prize. Among the others are Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Anaximander and the Birth of Science, Helgoland, and White Holes. His writings have delighted and informed millions of people in 45 languages, spurring readers to think deeply about topics in the scientific arena and beyond. From photons to justice, from entropy to atheism, from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to Churchill’s extraterrestrial musings, Dr. Rovelli casts his keen mind on a vast array of subjects and shares his original reflections through elegant and engaging prose that enchants the heart as well as the mind. He cherishes the scientific enterprise and inspires this feeling in the reader, urging us to relinquish the quest for certainty, because only by doing so can we open paths toward better understanding and breathtaking discoveries.

Dr. Rovelli has earned many academic and cultural accolades, including the 1995 Basilis Xanthopoulos International Award for outstanding contributions to gravitational physics by a scientist younger than 40 years old. He holds an honorary degree from the University of San Martin, in Buenos Aires, and an honorary professorship from Beijing Normal University. Foreign Policy magazine named Dr. Rovelli one of the 100 most influential global thinkers in 2019, and Prospect Magazine followed suit in 2021, listing him among the world’s top 50 thinkers.

Open to
Refreshments, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Abby Reception Hall and Dining Room
Dasha Lochoshvili
(212) 327-8967
Dasha Lochoshvili
(212) 327-8967

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