WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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a prolific fiction writer as well as a well-regarded physicist, Alan Lightman has a lengthy and impressive resume. While he is most widely known for his international best seller, Einstein's Dreams (Pantheon Books, 1993), he has published numerous other novels, including The Diagnosis (Pantheon Books, 2000), a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition, he's penned dozens of essays, and his short fiction has been featured in such prestigious publications as The Atlantic and The New Yorker. A long-time professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lightman has also made a number of contributions to the field of physics, specifically on the astrophysics of black holes. He also has left his mark through his Harpswell Foundation, a non- profit with a mission to advance women leaders in Southeast Asia, in which a number of Wellesley College students have participated since 2011. Lightman has recently released a new collection of essays called Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (Pantheon Books, 2018), which has been the number one best seller on Amazon in the categories of science, religion, and philosophy. The soft- spoken Lightman talked to WellesleyWeston Magazine from his home in the MetroWest area. WellesleyWeston Magazine: You are the first professor ever at MIT to receive a joint appointment in both the sciences and humanities. How has your fluency in the arts and sciences, a rare combination, influenced your worldview? Alan Lightman: My worldview has given me an appreciation for the different ways of being in the world. Most people can divide their friends into two groups: rational, analytical, deliberate people or Two Sides to Every Story A Conversation with Novelist and Physicist Alan Lightman K E R I B A N C R O F T L Y M A N writer / M A U R A WAY M A N photographer an interview with alan lightman 62 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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