News

In late August, I'll be traveling Down Under to talk about Physics on the Fringe and the work of the IFF. The book, has just been released in Australia and the tour will include media appearances in Melbourne and Sydney. My first port of call will be the Melbourne Writers Festival then I'll be heading up to give a talk at the University of Sydney.

 
Melbourne Writers Festival Events
Fri. Aug 31 @ 10amPhysics on the Fringe.
A discussion with Wilson da Silva, editor-in-cheif, Cosmos magazine. At the ACMI in Federation Square. Melbourne.
 
Fri. Aug 31 @ 9pm: Friday Night Live.
On friday night at the MWF I'll be part of a Lettermanesque late-night talk-show hosted by comedian Libby Gore. Other guests include legendary Australian feminist Germaine Greer. At BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.
 
Sat. Sept 1 @ 1pm: The Story of Science.
As a festival highlight, I will be participating in a wide-ranging discussion about the narrative of science. Other panels include science journalist Elizabeth Finkel and Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty (co-discoverer of the heliobactor pylori virus responsible for causing stomach ulcers, a beautiful example of how science-on-the-fringe can sometimes result in astounding success.) Event takes place at the Wheeler Center.
 
University of Sydney - Lecture
Thurs. Sept 6 @ 6-7:30pm: Not the Higgs Boson
In July the world went "Higgs mad," as New Scientist put it. In this talk for the Sydney Ideas series at the University of Sydney, I'll be discussing the discovery of the Higgs boson within the context of physics on the fringe, inside and outside the academy. The event will be hosted by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the Science Foundation of the Physics Department, University of Sydney. Venue: Eastern Auditorium, Eastern Avenue. Click here for event map.
 
 
Australian Media Appearances:
Mon. Sept 3 @ 10:30am : ABC Radio 702
I will be a guest on the ABC morning radio show.
 
Tues. Sept 4 @ 10pm : First Tuesday Book Club.
I will be a guest on the national ABC-TV book program hosted by Jennifer Byrne.
 
Thurs. Sept 6: Talk-back radio with Dr Karl.
I'll be appearing on Dr Karl Kruszelnicki's wonderful science talk-back radio show.
 

- PHYSICS AND PUPPETS: On Saturday August 11th (3pm), I'll be talking about physics on the fringe inside and outside the academy with WIRED writer Lizzie Wade. The event will take place at Automata, the radical puppet collective in Chinatown run by Janie Geiser and Susan Simpson. Automata operates from a lovely new space in Chung King Road, just across the street from the Institute For Figuring, where the exhibition of Physics on the Fringe is currently on show. After the conversation we'll walk over to the IFF for a viewing of the show along with drinks and further conversation.

- In July I recorded a an hour-long conversation for the 7th Avenue Radio Program at KUSP. Host Robert Pollie specializes in in-depth interviews - what he calls "thinking persons radio" - and has devoted previous programs to general relativity, string theory, and the Higgs Boson. 

- At the end of the month I'll be heading to Australia, where Physics on the Fringe has just been released. I'll be speaking about the book at the Melbourne Writers Festival and Sydney University, plus appearances on Dr Karl's beloved science-talkback radio program and on the First Tuesday Book Club with Jennifer Byrne on ABC-TV.

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NOT THE HIGGS BOSON

On July 4th physicists at CERN announced they'd discovered the Higgs Boson, the most sought-after member in the pantheon of subatomic particles. What does this mean? Why does the Higgs matter? And to whom?

In the coming weeks I'll be discussing this momentous discovery in the context of fringe physics at three events in the LA area,

- On Sunday July 15, I'll be speaking about the Higgs at the Center for Inquiry West, one of LA's leading venues for public discussions of science. The talk will be at 11am in the CFIW's Hollywood location and then repeated in Costa Mesa at 4:30pm. 

- On Saturday August 11th, I'll be discussing all this at Automata, the radical puppet collective in Chinatown run by Janie Geiser and Susan Simpson. Automata have just moved in to a beautiful new space across the road from the Institute For Figuring, where the exhibition of Physics on the Fringe is on show. After the conversation we'll walk over to the IFF for a viewing of the show.

 

- In mid-July I'll be speaking about the book on the SF radio program The 7th Ave Project at KUSP. Host Robert Pollie specializes in hour long, in-depth interviews - what he calls "thinking persons radio" - and has devoted previous programs to general relativity, string theory, and - yes - the Higgs Boson. 

The exhibition of Physics on the Fringe at the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles has been beautifully reviewed in the Los Angeles Times  by art critic Holly Myers. Her piece ends with the lovely sentiment as follows:

 "Wertheim points to the recent embrace of “outsider art” as a model for how the scientific community might come to appreciate the conceptual integrity of these alternative theories, recognizing their sociological implications without necessarily endorsing their merit.Those of us in the art world, however, might also take it the other way, recognizing in the alienated urgency of these outsider physicists some echo of what the uninitiated — of whom there are many — long for in art.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING:
Lots of exciting things are happening around Physics on the Fringe. In April the exhibition based on the book opened at the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.The exhibition is a visual version of the book and features a wnodrous array of images, diagrams, animations, and physical models by outsider theorists. People presented in the show include Jim Carter - whose models of atoms from the 1970's are a star attraction - along with Laguna Beach theorist Michael Evans, Canadian Stoyan Sarg, Australian Peter Jobson, and many others. 

The exhibition was featured in the LA Weekly, where Margaret Wertheim was interviewed about her work at the Instiute For Figuring.

 

RADIO:
Physics on the Fringe has also been the topic of two recent NPR programs. 

The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR - May 8, 2012
Inspired by Margaret's book, Colin McEnroe devotes his hour-long program to outsider physics. Margaret is joined by physicist Ron Mallett (who has a radical theory about time travel), Princeton historian of science Michael Gordin (who has a new book coming out about the bizarre 1950's theories of Immanuel Velikovsky), and Jim Carter. This is a stimulating discussion about the trials and tribulations of fringe physics.

To the Best of Our Knowledge NPR - Nationally Aired June 3, 2012
Host Steve Paulson devotes this hour-long episode of his radio show to Physics and the Big Questions. Margaret discusses Physics on the Fringe. Other guests are physicists Lawrence Krauss and Marcelo Gesier (discussing how a universe can come out of nothing), Lisa Randall (on the joys of string theory), and science writer Dava Sobel (on her lovely new book about Copernicus, A More Perfect Heaven.)