(copied from the call for participation)
Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator. Currently, he is Adjunct Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Several years ago, Alan Lightman asked physicists, chemists and biologists to nominate the most important scientific discoveries in the twentieth century in their respective fields. He condensed this list to about two dozen discoveries, which included the discovery of the first hormone, the discovery of special relativity, the discovery of the uncertainty principle, the discovery how nerves communicate with each other, the discovery of the structure of DNA, the discovery of the chemical bond.
In this lecture, drawing on his book The Discoveries, Professor Lightman will review some of these landmark scientific discoveries and briefly describe the impact and significance of the work, as well as talk about the personalities and human drama of the scientists involved and some common patterns in the process of discovery.