About Critical Mass
In the best of all possible worlds, culture, ideas, science, reason, and public policy are all interconnected, and benefit from the interplay between them. Critical Mass is designed to celebrate that, as well as promote it. Art, music, literature and science all change our perspective about our place in the cosmos. But Science does more than this. It provides a unique process that has allowed humanity to uncover the world as it really is and not how we want it to be. As the Nobel Prizewinning Physicist Richard Feynman stressed, we need to spend at least as much time trying to prove our best ideas wrong, as right.
The tools of science—skeptical questioning, logical reasoning and analysis, prediction, testing, and retesting, combined with a willingness to be wrong—not only lead to scientific progress, but when applied more broadly can provide policy makers and the public with better ways to deal with the global challenges we face. Now more than ever society needs to be guided by reason and science, while allowing for free and open discourse across echo chambers. No subject should be taboo because only by open discussion can good ideas flourish and bad ideas fall by the wayside. At the same time, we should celebrate the wonders of the universe that science has uncovered, and the mysteries that still remain.
From the time I first chose to reach out beyond my scientific research activities, I was guided by 4 goals: (1) To connect science and culture, (2) to promote science, reason, questioning, and the free expression of ideas, (3) To share my excitement about the wonders of the universe and (4) To provide opportunities for the broader public to participate in this grand enterprise in order to better address the challenges of the 21st century. I have been fortunate to be able to carry out my activities on a variety of fronts, from my research as a scientist, to my popular writing and speaking, appearing in various media including films, television, radio, and sometimes even music, and finally to the dialogues that friends, colleagues, and other remarkable individuals have graciously agreed to participate in with me. This importantly includes The Origins Podcast, which my non-profit foundation, The Origins Project Foundation, produces.
Since all of my activities are intellectually interconnected it seemed reasonable to find a single medium to provide access to as much of the associated content as possible. Substack is providing this functionality through Critical Mass. It will seamlessly integrate all online projects in one place, and will also allow me to interact in numerous ways with subscribers.
I intend to keep much of the material on Critical Mass free and open for the general public. Nevertheless, I hope you will consider subscribing to Critical Mass in order to support the goals I have described above. Paid subscriptions will provide financial support necessary for the Origins Project Foundation to continue to produce The Origins Podcast and its other outreach activities. They will also support the production of the other material you will read, listen to, and watch on this site. Finally, paid subscribers will have numerous opportunities each month to interact with me and other subscribers as we share information and perspectives with each other, as well as the opportunity to comment on every post that you read or listen to.
I look forward to the opportunity to interact with many of you over the coming months, and I hope the material you will see here will enlighten, entertain, and sometimes provoke. Here's a taste of what you will find in Critical Mass in coming days, weeks, and months.
(1) Ad free video versions of The Origins Podcast, where I carry out dialogues with the most interesting people in the world on issues at the forefront of science, public policy, art, and literature
(2) Regular posts on timely social and science issues.
(3) Dialogues, including “Current events with…” Individuals who have agreed to carry out such conversations on a regular basis will range across the full spectrum of political and intellectual viewpoints, including Noam Chomsky, David Frum, and others.
(4) Science videos and tutorials
(5) A guide to interesting articles on the web
(6) Guest posts and presentations.
(7) And more…
I am excited about providing exciting new content here on a regular basis, and I hope that, in turn, you will join me regularly on these pages and support Critical Mass by subscribing. Thanks very much.
About Lawrence M. Krauss
Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author and lecturer. He is currently President of The Origins Project Foundation, which celebrates science and culture by connecting scientists, artists, writers and celebrities with the public through special events, online discussions and unique travel opportunities. The Foundation produces the Origins Podcast, a video podcast he hosts involving dialogues with the most interesting people in the world discussing issues that address the global challenges of the 21st century.
His research interests have focused on the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, including the origin and evolution of the Universe and the fundamental structure of matter.
Before taking his current position, Krauss served as Director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project, a national center for research and outreach on origins issues, and as Foundation Professor at ASU from 2008-2018, and also as Chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 2008-2018. During his career Prof. Krauss has held endowed professorships and distinguished research appointments at institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Boston University, University of Zurich, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Case Western Reserve University, Australian National University, Arizona State University, and New College of Humanities.
Beyond his scientific work, Krauss has been one of the world’s most active and successful science popularizers and a vocal advocate for science and reason vs pseudoscience and superstition, as well as sound public policy. He has written over 500 publications and 11 popular books, including the international best-sellers, The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing. His most recent book, The Physics of Climate Change was released in February 2021. He has written regularly for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker, and appears regularly on radio, television and most recently in several feature films.
Among his numerous awards are included the three major awards from all 3 US physics societies and the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board for his contributions to the public understanding of science.
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