Last night, I began the season of pub nights after the Perimeter Institute’s hugely successful public lectures. The season began with a lecture by Sir Roger Penrose.
According to reliable sources, the free tickets for his lecture sold out in about 10 minutes. “He’s kind of like a rock star for physicists,” said one attendee last night.
Neil Turok, the new executive director of PI, was also there last night to introduce Penrose on his first day of work. “There is a reverence bordering on awe by both mathematicians and physicists when they talk about Roger,” said the former Cambridge physicist.
All these leads me to wonder what would happen if Stephen Hawking ever visited Waterloo? Judging by the public and academic response to October’s lecture, you have to wonder if demand for tickets would be so great that a bigger venue would be needed. Anyway, that’s just speculation.
Finally, what isn’t speculation is the rest of this season’s talks which were formally announced, and here’s what you have to look forward to:
November 5 – Physics Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek “Anticipating a Golden Age”
December 3 – Ben Schumacher, Kenyon University in Ohio
Break for January and February
March 4 – Robert Cook, Vice President of Pixar the animation studio that created Wall-E
April 1 (no joke) – Brian Cox, particle physicist with the University of Manchester, former rockstar, and award winning science promoter for lay audiences
May 6 – Larry Abbott, theoretical neurophysicist with Columbia University
June 3 – Brian Schmidt, supernovae astronomer with the Australian National University
If any science writers want to come to any of the upcoming lectures, just let me know and I will help make it happen.