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Alan Lightman & Pope Brock in Conversation with Sandra Tsing Loh: On Science in Literature
September 25th, 2017 7:30pm
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Cosmic Musings Lecture Series Presented by United Airlines



Pope Brock and Alan Lightman, two prominent authors in the scientific and literary communities, will come together for a reading and discussion moderated by award-winning novelist Sandra Tsing Loh.  Brock will share an engaging discourse with Lightman on the future of space exploration, physics, and science within literary context.  They will discuss the ways that discoveries of the cosmos have changed our understanding of ourselves.  This event will act as a launch for Pope Brock’s new book Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon, which examines what life might be like if humans colonize the moon. Books will be made available for purchase during check-in and after the presentation at the Stellar Emporium gift shop.  The signing will occur after the presentation. The store will be open to sell the books and other swag.




Pope Brock is a writer, teacher and DJ living in Arlington, Massachusetts.  He is the author of three books: Indiana Gothic (Doubleday), Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, The Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam (Random House), and Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow’s Moon (Red Hen Press).  His articles have appeared in GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, London Sunday Times Magazine and many other publications.  Since 2005 he has taught in the low-residency MFA Writing Program at the University of Nebraska.


Alan Lightman has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1996 and is currently Professor of the Practices of Humanities at MIT.  He is the author of several books on science, including The Accidental Universe (2015), Ancient Light: Our Changing View of the Universe (1991) and Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists (with R. Brawer, 1990).  His works of fiction include the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams (1993), The Diagnosis (2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and, most recently, Song of Two Worlds, an illustrated verse narrative published by Red Hen Press in spring 2017.


Sandra Tsing Loh is the author of six books, including The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones (W.W. Norton, 2014), which was selected as one of the New York Times’ 100 Most Notable Books.  Her short story “My Father’s Chinese Wives” won a Pushcart Prize in 1996, and is featured in the Norton Anthology of Modern Literature.  She has been a regular commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, and on PRI’s This American Life and Marketplace; currently, her weekly segment The Loh Life is heard on KPCC.  A Pushcart Prize winner, MacDowell Fellow and three-time National Magazine Award nominee, she is a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly and adjunct professor of visual art and science communication at the University of California, Irvine.


Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m.  The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater.  The Stellar Emporium gift shop will be open.  The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater.


Reservations are required.  In the case of sold out shows, any tickets not picked up by 7:40 p.m. will be made available to wait-listed guests.  No refunds are available. RSVP deadline is SEPTEMBER 25, 4:00 p.m.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a new FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at  If you have any questions please send an email to Marc Meehan at or call 213.473.0879 about joining/renewing.

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