John D. Barrow

Better Than a Thousand Words

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The famed physicist will speak to the observer effects principle and the impact of images on the development of science throughout history. From the first graphs and illustrated books to MolScript; from the first pictures of spiral galaxies in Van Gogh’s The Starry Night to the Hubble Space Telescope; and from the atomic bomb’s mushroom cloud to the intricacy of fractals, this talk will examine the past influence of pictures in science and the growing influence of visual expression today.

John D. Barrow is a cosmologist who studies the early history of the universe, the mathematical structure of cosmological models, and ways in which astronomy and cosmology can be used to test aspects of fundamental physics. He has worked at the universities of Oxford, California at Berkeley, and Sussex, and he has been professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University and a fellow of Clare Hall since 1999. He has written more than 445 scientific articles on cosmology and astrophysics, 21 books on wide-ranging aspects of science and mathematics, and is the author of the award-winning play Infinities, directed by Luca Ronconi. He is also the director of the Millennium Mathematics Project, an initiative to improve the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and its applications. Barrow is the current Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, and was formerly Gresham Professor of Astronomy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003 and has received many international awards for his work in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and drama. The Italian edition of his book Cosmic Imagery recently won the Merck-Serono Literary Prize. His most recent book is entitled The Book of Universes.

John D. Barrow
February 8, 2012, 6PM

EMPAC 2011-2012 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA