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London Real

Apr 23, 2016

Lawrence Krauss - A Godless Universe 
Lawrence Maxwell Krauss is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and director of its Origins Project.

Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include 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 was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up. He received undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Physics at Carleton University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982), then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows (1982-85). He joined the faculty of the departments of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University as assistant professor in 1985, and associate professor in 1988. In 1993 he was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Chairman of the department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University. He served in the latter position for 12 years, until 2005. During this period he built up the department, which was ranked among the top 20 Physics Graduate Research Programs in the country in a 2005 national ranking. 

He has been involved for some time in issues of science and society and has helped spearhead national efforts to educate the public about science, ensure sound public policy , and defend science against attacks at a variety of levels. He has helped lead a national effort to defend the teaching of evolution in the public schools. His piece in the New York Times followed by a public letter to Pope Benedict helped to prompt a reevaluation of the Catholic Church's position on evolution. He led the creation of an organization in Ohio which recruited and supported pro-science candidates to run for State School Board against creationist candidates, and spoke out and wrote extensively during the election campaign. All candidates recruited by this group, Help Ohio Public Education, were elected, sometimes defeated candidates who outspent them by huge margins. In Dec 2007, he wrote in the Wall St. Journal proposing a Presidential Debate on Science, and serves on the steering committee of ScienceDebate2008. Their call for such a debate has now been cosponsored by the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science and the Council on Competitiveness, as well as being endorsed by 20 Nobel Laureates, various Congresspeople, business leaders, and 12,000 scientists. In March 2008, Krauss and Richard Dawkins engaged in a public conversation at Stanford University on science and science education, and the video of their conversation and his video on the current state of cosmology presented at the AAI conference in October 2009 and produced by the Dawkins Foundation have become among most watched on Youtube since it appeared in April. In 2012, he was awarded the National Science Board's Public Service Medal.

Krauss is one of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture. For example, besides his radio and television work, Krauss has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, narrating Gustav Holst's The Planets at the Blossom Music Center in the most highly attended concert at that venue, and was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc CD of music from Star Trek. In 2005 he also served as a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival.

In 2013, Krauss starred in a new full length feature film documentary called The Unbelievers, which follows Krauss and colleague Richard Dawkins around the world as they discuss science and reason.  The film had its world premiere at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto in April 2013. A number of celebrities including Woody Allen, Werner Herzog, Cameron Diaz, Ricky Gervais, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy, Sarah Silverman and others appear in the film, for which Krauss was the executive producer.

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