Center for Science Writings
Launched in 2005 within the College of Arts and Letters, the Center for Science Writings draws attention to science communications, books and blogs capturing the public's attention. Prominent writers, be they journalists, scientists, engineers, philosophers or scholars, come to deliver free, public lectures about science-related issues each and every semester.
At the helm is director and science journalist John Horgan. A former senior writer at Scientific American (1986-1997), Horgan has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Slate, the Stute, and other publications. He writes the "Cross-check" blog for Scientific American, produces "Mind-Body Problems" for the online talk show Bloggingheads.tv, and tweets as @horganism.
A note to Stevens freshmen taking introductory engineering courses: be sure to talk to your professors about the Center for Science Writings, as many grant credit for attending select events.
For more information about the Center for Science Writings, contact John Horgan at [email protected].
February 13, 2019. "The Misinformation Age". Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall, Philosophers
September 25, 2019. "Psychiatry in Crisis". Anne Harrington, Historian
October 16, 2019. "In the Beginning: Recent Tales of the Origin of Life". Nathaniel Comfort, Historian
November 4, 2019. "Science, Race and Racism". Angela Saini, Author
February 28, 2018. “Can Buddhism Save Us?” Robert Wright, Journalist
April 4, 2018. "Is Science Sexist?" Angela Saini, Journalist
April 25, 2018. "Redesigning Wilderness." Emma Marris, Journalist
October 3, 2018. "How Physics Went Wrong" Sabine Hossenfelder, Author and Theoretical Physicist
November 8, 2017. "How the Information Age Was Born." Jimmy Soni, journalist.
October 18, 2017. "How Sugar Kills." Gary Taubes, science journalist and diet expert.
October 4, 2017. "What's So Great About Empathy?" Paul Bloom, Yale psychologist and author.
April 27, 2017. "Is Philosophy Obsolete?" Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, philosopher and author.
March 29, 2017. "The Future of the Earth." David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and NASA consultant.
March 1, 2017. "The Mysteries of Memory." Michael Lemonick, visiting lecturer in astrophysical sciences, Princeton University.
November 16, 2016. "When Robots Rule the Earth." Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics, George Mason University.
October 19, 2016. "Is Capitalism Killing Us?" Naomi Klein, activist, journalist, and best-selling author.
September 28, 2016. "Cosmic Revelations." Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics, Yale University.
March 30, 2016. “The War on Terror Reconsidered.” John Mueller, political scientist, and Mark Stewart, risk-assessment engineer.
March 9, 2016. “Einstein Was an Engineer!” Philosopher of science, Steven Gimbel.
February 17, 2016. “The Downside of Death.” Psychologist Sheldon Solomon.
October 14, 2015. “Superforecasters.” Psychologist Philip Tetlock.
September 30, 2015. “Neuroscience Rediscovers Freud.” Journalist Casey Schwartz.
September 16, 2015. “Is Technology out of Control?” Bioethicist Wendell Wallach.
April 30, 2015. "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming." Naomi Oreskes, historian of science.
March 25, 2015. "Embracing Transhumanism." Steve Fuller, social epistemologist.
February 4, 2015. "How the Hippies Saved Physics." David Kaiser, historian of science.
November 19, 2014. "Is Our Existence a Fluke?" Astrophysicist Caleb Scharf.
October 22, 2014. "The Promise and Perils of Open Systems.” Historian of technology Andrew Russell.
October 15, 2014. "Sexual Violence and Development." Journalist Madhusree Mukerjee.
September 24, 2014. "The Sports Gene." Journalist David Epstein.
April 23, 2014. "Connecting the Dots in Toms River and Beyond." Dan Fagin, science journalist.
March 5, 2014. "How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes." Maria Konnikova, psychologist and writer.
February 19, 2014. "Greening the Planet: Beyond Woe is Me, Shame on You." Andrew Revkin, science writer.
February 12, 2014. "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know." Peter Singer, senior fellow, Brookings Institution.
October 23, 2013. "I Am Science—And So can You!" Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina.
October 9, 2013. "This Is Your Brain in Danger." Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux.
March 20, 2013. "The Physics of Wall Street." Philosopher and physicist Jim Weatherall.
February 20, 2013. "Science, History and Global Conquest." Historian of science James E. McClellan III.
February 5, 2013. "Can Science Tell Us How To Be Good?" Philosopher Philip Kitcher.
January 18, 2013. "Can We Learn from Humanity's Past?" Anthropologist Jared Diamond.
November 14, 2012. "What Makes Us Happy?" Psychologist Elaine Fox, Oxford University.
October 19, 2012. "Ethics and the Election." Philosopher Peter Singer, Princeton University.
September 26, "Why We Lie." Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, Rutgers University.
March 21, 2012. "Churchill's Secret War." Science writer Madhusree Mukerjee.
February 29, 2012. "Are Psychiatric Drugs Making Us Sicker?" Science writer Robert Whitaker.
January 24, 2012. "Antifragility." Risk engineer Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
November 16, 2011. "Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything." Science writer Margaret Wertheim.
October 12, 2011. "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood." Science writer James Gleick.
September 28, 2011. "Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Memory." Science writer Joshua Foer.
April 27, 2011. "Facing the Truth about Global Warming." James Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
March 9, 2011, "Is Ultimate Truth an Equation?" Robert Crease, philosopher and historian of science, Stony Brook University.
February 16, 2011. “Split-Second Persuasion." Kevin Dutton, psychologist, University of Cambridge.
November 10, 2010. “Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?” Technology writer Nicholas Carr.
October 20, 2010. “Can Brain Science Make Us Wiser?” Science writer Stephen S. Hall.
September 29, 2010. “Why We Need Nukes Now.” Journalist Gwyneth Cravens.
April 7, 2010. “The Birth of Quantum Mechanics.” Science writer Louisa Gilder.
April 28, 2010. “The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One.” Oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle.
March 10, 2010. “Mind Wars: The Weaponization of Brain Science.” Jonathan D. Moreno, ethicist, University of Pennsylvania.
February 17, 2010. “Are We Born to Wage War? If Not, Why Do We Do It?” Brian Ferguson, anthropologist, Rutgers University.
December 2, 2009. The Evolution of God. Robert Wright, journalist, bestselling author, founder, Bloggingheads.tv.
October 28, 2009. Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking, Charles Seife, professor of journalism, NYU.
September 23, 2009. Wired for War. Peter W. Singer, fellow, Brookings Institution.
April 20, 2009. How to Save the Planet. Columbia economist Jeffrey D. Sachs.
April 1, 2009. Ravens at the Feast: Sharing Versus Selfishness Among “Wolf Birds.” Bernd Heinrich, biologist, University of Vermont, author.
March 4, 2009, Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World. Jessica Sachs, science journalist, author (event co-sponsored with Professor Matthew Libera of Materials Science Department).
February 18, 2009. Reservoir of Genius: How Engineers Can Save Our Water. John Cronin, Director, Beacon Institute.
January 28, 2009. The Risks of Safety: When Good Machines Behave Badly. Edward Tenner, historian of technology, author.
December 3, 2008. Musicophilia. Oliver Sacks, neurologist, author.
November 12, 2008. 13 Things That Don't Make Sense. Michael Brooks, journalist, consultant to New Scientist magazine.
October 29, 2008. The Psychology of Politics. John Jost, NYU psychologist.
September 17, 2008. Microcosm. Carl Zimmer, author, journalist.
April 30, 2008: Green Innovation: Finding Creative Solutions to Environmental Problems. Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, environmentalists. Conversation moderated by New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin.
March 12, 2008. A Force of Nature: The Story of Ernest Rutherford. Richard Reeves, bestselling Presidential biographer.
February 6, 2008. Big Fat Lies: The Truth about Diet and Obesity. Gary Taubes, journalist and author.
December 12, 2007. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.
November 14, 2007. Behind the Lines: The Story of the Remarkable Men and Women Who Made the Scientific Discoveries and Developed the Weapons that Changed the Course of World War II. Jennet Conant, author, journalist.
October 17, 2007. The Search for Meaning in a Material World. Owen Flanagan. James D. Duke professor of philosophy, Duke University.
September 12, 2007. Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battles over Global Warming. Chris Mooney, author, journalist.
May 9, 2007. Conservation: Science and Religion. Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Research Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University.
March 21, 2007. Redesigning Humanity: How far should we go? Thomas Murray, president, Hastings Center, James Hughes, executive director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Trinity College.
October 18, 2006. The End of Science: A Debate. Michio Kaku, author and physicist, John Horgan, Lisa Dolling, and James McClellan.
September 20, 2006. Solving Katrina: Preventing the Next Disaster. Mark Fischetti, associate editor, Scientific American.
April 26, 2006. Everything Bad is Good for You. Steven Berlin Johnson, author, freelance journalist.
March 22, 2006. The Secrets of the Oracle. William J. Broad, author, New York Times reporter.
March 8, 2006. Challenging God and Mother Nature. Lee Silver, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University.
February 14, 2006. Re-Engineering Iraq. Glenn Zorpette, executive editor, IEEE Spectrum.
January 30, 2006. Science's Greatest Challenges. Sharon Begley, columnist, Wall Street, Steven Petranek, editor in chief, Discover, John Rennie, editor in chief, Scientific American.
December 14, 2005. The Melting Arctic and Other Tales of Global Warming. Andrew Revkin, New York Times reporter.
November 22, 2005. The Search for Miss Leavitt. George Johnson, New York Times reporter.