Sun, 11 July 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Brian Greene – Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

In Conversation With Robin Ince

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Drawing on myth and religion, science and art, the bestselling author of The Elegant Universe joins How To Academy to explore humankind’s search for purpose in the vastness of the cosmos.

“In both time and space, the cosmos is astoundingly vast, and yet is governed by simple, elegant, universal mathematical laws. On this cosmic timeline, our human era is spectacular but fleeting. Someday, we know, we will all die. And, we know, so too will the universe itself.” – Brian Greene


World-renowned for his ground-breaking discoveries in string theory, Brian Greene is also one of our most eloquent and original storytellers in science, able to transport us across the vast reaches of time and space, bringing to life breakthroughs and trials, great discoveries and profound philosophical meditations.

He joins us for his most ambitious and poignant story yet: the quest to understand how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos of the big bang, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in story, myth, religion, science, creative expression, the quest for truth, and our longing for the timeless and eternal.

At the heart of the tale lies the paradox between the transience of our experience and the human quest to search for deeper purpose. From the Pyramids to the Ninth Symphony to quantum mechanics, the greatest monuments of human creative expression reflect our yearning for permeance. But science tells us that our era – the era of life itself – is spectacularly unique. What sages through the centuries have taught us – the surprising but subtle truth that life is in the here and now – is made rich and deep and clear when we understand the full expanse of time.

Don’t miss this chance to hear the story of mind, matter and the quest for meaning in an evolving universe from one the most gifted physicists alive today.

Praise for Brian Greene:

“Brian Greene has a gift for elucidating big ideas . . . Captures and engages the imagination . . . It’s exciting and rewarding to read him.” —The New York Times

“Like [Stephen] Hawking and [Roger] Penrose before him, [Greene] is an author who writes with the confidence and authority of one who . . . has seen the promised land of cosmic truth.” –Bookforum

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Brian Greene

Professor of physics and mathematics

Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics and director of Columbia University’s Center for Theoretical Physics and is renowned for his ground breaking discoveries in superstring theory. He is the author of The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality, which have collectively spent sixty-five weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

Robin Ince

Comedian and co-host of award-winning Radio 4 science show The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Robin Ince is the co-presenter of Radio 4’s multiple award winning The Infinite Monkey Cage. He spent 2019 appearing across the world in the Universal tour with Brian Cox – travelling from LA to Oslo, Wellington to Aberdeen and ending up in Reyjavik after shows at the 02 and Wembley Arena. Robin co-wrote How to Build a Universe (part 1) with Brian Cox and his most recent book is I’m a Joke and So Are You, a book about why we become who we become and how we deal with it.