Author of “Einstein’s Dream” Discusses New Book at MBL Falmouth Forum, April 4


Contact: Susan Joslin

Alan LightmanMBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The next presentation of this season’s MBL Falmouth Forum will be held on Friday, April 4 with a talk titled “The Accidental Universe,” presented by Alan Lightman, physicist, writer, social entrepreneur, and professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The event will be held at 7:30 PM in the MBL’s Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. This talk is this season’s Herman T. Epstein Endowed Memorial Lectureship.

Sponsored by the MBL Associates, the MBL Falmouth Forum series is free and open to the public. The MBL Falmouth Forum series is also supported by a generous donation from the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.

Alan Lightman began publishing essays about science, the human side of science, and the “mind of science” in 1981, beginning with Smithsonian and moving to Science 82, The New Yorker, and other magazines. Lightman’s novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages.

Lightman’s newest book of essays, An Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew, was released this spring, and will be available for purchase and signing following the lecture.

Emily Rapp of The Boston Globe recently wrote of An Accidental Universe:
“Regardless of outstanding interests in science or religion, any reader will enjoy pondering, through well-organized and graceful prose, what can be objectively proven about the world in which we live and what remains a mystery. Can science prove the existence of God? Is this universe we inhabit the only one? Can a religious experience be scientifically proven? Lightman ponders these timeless, unanswerable questions using his training as both a scientist and a novelist, always careful to include historical and contemporary perspectives on each argument or idea. Lightman’s style is wonderfully readable; he writes about quantum physics and religious philosophical traditions with equal grace and enthusiasm.”

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His unusual combination of talents in both science and creative writing drew attention as he won city and state-wide science fairs as well as the state-wide competition for the National Council of Teachers of English award.  Lightman received his A.B. degree in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology.  He was an Assistant Professor of astronomy at Harvard University from 1976 to 1979 and from 1979 to 1989 a research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In 1989, Lightman was appointed professor of science and writing and senior lecturer in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in science and the humanities. He currently teaches at MIT as Adjunct Professor of Humanities.

An optional buffet dinner will precede the lecture at 6:00 PM at the MBL’s Swope Center, 5 North Street, Woods Hole. Tickets are $30 (meal includes salad, pasta or potatoes, two entrees, wine, dessert, tax and gratuity) and must be purchased in advance at Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth or at the MBL Communications Office (between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM only), 127 Water Street, Woods Hole. Dinner tickets are available until they sell out or until 5:00 pm on Tuesday, April 1. For more information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or

The remaining presentation of the MBL Falmouth Forum series is below. Visit for details and updated information.

April 18, 2014 (rescheduled from February 14)
Poetry Reading
Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer-prize winning poet


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.

 The MBL Associates are a group of individuals and businesses that support the scientific mission of the MBL through their gifts to the Annual Fund. The Associates sponsor educational and research programs for the MBL and raise funds for special projects. In addition, they operate the MBL Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.