Episode 8

Alan Lightman

Writer, Physicist, Professor

Alan Lightman is a writer and professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Lightman was one of the first people at MIT to have a joint faculty position in both the sciences and the humanities.

Lightman is known for exploring the intersection of the sciences and the humanities, especially the dialogue between science, philosophy, religion, and spirituality.

His international bestseller book "Einstein's Dreams" has been translated into more than 30 languages and adapted into dozens of independent theatrical and musical productions worldwide.




Edgar Burroughs, A Princess of Mars

He started reading Burroughs's books when he was around 12 and 13 years old. The books touched his scientific curiosity. He also likes the romance in Burroughs's books. The setting, the desert, in Burroughs's books is what appears in his other influential books as a young boy. He finds it wonderful how our worldview was formed at such a young age.

John Fowles, The Magus

It is one of the books that disturbed him. He likes books that disturb him as we grow by being disturbed as well as be being pleased. It enlarged his view of the world. The book appeals to his artistic side and frightens his scientific side.

George Gamow, Mr Tompkins in Wonderland

He read the book at the age of 15 and 17. The thing he likes about Mr Tompskins books is the notion that we could convey science in an artistic and literary way. It enhanced the abilities to talk about science.

Frank Herbert, Dune

He admires the ability of the author in imagining the entire world with details and how the society works in a complete view. The characters with magical power and the technology in it are also amazing.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

He read the book when he was starting to write short stories. Ernest said something in the book that still stuck with him. His interpretation of that message is as a writer you're creating a world that you understand it well enough that there is a submerged level of understanding. The readers will feel and see that invented world without it being conveyed explicitly.