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Adam Frank

  • anthropomorphize physics_HERO

    Why We Love to Anthropomorphize Physics

    Family Physics” may be the best episode of Public Radio’s long running show, This American Life. Its premise was simple. Import key concepts from the realms of quantum mechanics and cosmology and use them to illuminate the everyday world of parents, kids, and their interactions. Introducing the show, however, host Ira Glass was quick to […]

  • Puget Sound from Space Needle

    Why Narrating the Future May Be Better Than Trying to Predict It

    In 1972 the Club of Rome, an international think tank, commissioned four scientists to use computers to model the human future. The result was the infamous Limits to Growth that crashed into world culture like an asteroid from space. Collapse, calamity, and chaos were the media take-aways from the book, even though the authors tried hard to explain […]

  • Seminar

    A Scientist’s Trick for Making Discoveries Outside the Lab

    The year was 1986. It was my first week at my first real job in science after finishing undergraduate work. I just had recently been hired as a scientific programmer at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) in upper Manhattan, and was still so new that I wasn’t sure where the bathrooms were. Earlier […]

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    What Earth Tells Us About Life, Intelligence & the Universe

      Astrobiology, the study of life on other worlds,  is one of the coolest sciences ever.  From extremophile bacteria living miles underground and feeding off radioactivity to exoplanetary systems with bizarre head-spinning architectures, astrobiology includes some of the most amazing parts of the natural world.  But for some hardened naysayers, Astrobiology’s glamour is tainted by that […]

  • Puget Sound from Space Needle

    How to Tell The Future(s)

    In 1972 the Club of Rome, an international think tank, commissioned four scientists to use computers to model the human future. The result was the infamous Limits to Growth that crashed into world culture like an asteroid from space. Collapse, calamity and chaos were the media take-aways from the book, even though the authors tried […]

  • FSR_Copernicus

    An Overdose of Copernicus? Our Universe Might Yet Be Special

    The mediocre universe… Depending on how you look at it, that is either a term of derision or an interesting, mind-warping concept. Cosmologists who are enamored of the theory that there are many, or perhaps infinite, universes like to look at our cosmic home and call it average, boring, run of the mill, vanilla. They […]