- This event has passed.
- December 17, 2020
- Event Categories:
- Author Events, Discussion
The End of Everything:
The Ministry for the Future:
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome renowned theoretical astrophysicist KATIE MACK and KIM STANLEY ROBINSON—author of the acclaimed, bestselling Mars Trilogy—for a discussion of their latest books, The End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking) and The Ministry for the Future: A Novel.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The End of Everything and The Ministry for the Future on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
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About The End of Everything
We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?
Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.
About The Ministry for the Future
The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us—and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face.
It is a novel both immediate and impactful, desperate and hopeful in equal measure, and it is one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.
Praise for The End of Everything
“The End of Everything combines deep thinking about physics and big-picture awe in the style of Carl Sagan.” —Randall Munroe, author of xkcd and What If?
“Everything dies, even the universe. But will it be a peaceful fading away, or a dramatic cataclysm? Scientists don’t know for sure, but Katie Mack provides an expert and entertaining guide to the possibilities. Who knew a book about the end of the universe could communicate so much passion for science?” —Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
“A thrilling tour of potential cosmic doomsdays . . . Beyond her deep expertise, Ms. Mack’s infectious enthusiasm for communicating the finer points of cosmological doom elevates The End of Everything over any other book on the topic I have read.” —The Wall Street Journal
Praise for The Ministry for the Future
“A breathtaking look at the challenges that face our planet in all their sprawling magnitude and also in their intimate, individual moments of humanity.” —Booklist (starred)
“A sweeping, optimistic portrait of humanity’s ability to cooperate in the face of disaster. This heartfelt work of hard science-fiction is a must-read for anyone worried about the future of the planet.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.