Image - human viewing Milky Way

Past Event

Fear of a Black Universe

Join us for a conversation with cosmologist Stephon Alexander, who argues that great physics requires one to think outside the mainstream—to improvise and to rely on intuition. His approach has led him to three principles that shape all theories of the universe: the principle of invariance, the quantum principle, and the principle of emergence.

Alexander uses these three principles to explore some of physics' greatest mysteries, from what happened before the Big Bang to how the universe makes consciousness possible. Drawing on his experience as a Black physicist, Alexander makes a powerful case for diversifying our scientific communities because—after successfully incorporating a piece of life-changing advice that, in order to discover real physics, he needed to stop memorizing and start taking risks—Alexander has concluded that making further progress in physics probably requires embracing the excluded, listening to the unheard, and being unafraid of being wrong.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

MLF: Humanities

This program was rescheduled from September 8, 2021.

This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout. 

This is an online-only program; please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Copies of Fear of a Black Universe are available for purchase at checkout (for shipment to domestic U.S. addresses only); our thanks to Marcus Books in Oakland for fulfilling book orders.

Marcus Books

In partnership with Wonderfest.

September 24, 2021

United States

Image - Stephon Alexander

Stephon Alexander

Professor of Physics, Brown University; Jazz Musician; Author, Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider's Guide to the Future of Physics

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates


2–3 p.m. (Pacific Time) program

Watch the Video