Outsider Physics

A different perspective on the universe

Heather Goodell
Heather Goodell

The most groundbreaking ideas in modern physics—the Earth is round, special relativity, the uncertainty principle—were once seen as shocking, impossible, even deviant (recall Galileo’s trial). Even today, wild ideas can be laughed out of a conference, especially if they come from someone perceived as an outsider. Brown University physics professor Stephon Alexander, one such self-identified outsider, joins the podcast to talk about his new book, Fear of a Black Universe, and his own experiences as a Black man in science who has made major contributions, “not in spite of [his] outsider’s perspective, but because of it.”

Go beyond the episode:

Listen to the whole of Here Comes Now, Stephon Alexander’s album with Rioux:

Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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