Author Archives: Christopher Silsby

TRANSCENDENCE: Relativity and Its Discontents

Break A Leg Productions presents a staged reading of the new Einstein play TRANSCENDENCE: Relativity and Its Discontents by the playwright and science historian Robert Marc Friedman as part of the program on Science & the Arts and the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Date, time and location: April 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM, Science Center, Room 4102, The Graduate Center of CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. First come, first seated.

Note: A second reading of the play.“Transcendence” by Robert Marc Friedman  will be held on:

Monday, April 20, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

The Unity Center of New York City

213 West 58th St. (7th/B’way), Manhattan

Synopsis of the play:

The play TRANSCENDENCE: Relativity and Its Discontents explores aspects of Einstein’s life and his general theory of relativity at the time of the theory’s creation and initial reception. While being faithful to historical scholarship, the play creates its own theatrical reality aiming to engage emotions and intellect. Those who strive for transcendence must nevertheless also confront the harsh realities of living in specific time-bound social contexts. Universal constants that anchor physical theory in an objective reality, as Einstein believed, do not readily have equivalents in notions of identity, duty, loyalty, and excellence.  In November 1915 after toiling for years in Zurich, Prague, and now Berlin, Einstein achieved his general theory of relativity. When in 1919 British astronomers announced evidence for the bending of starlight by the sun as Einstein had predicted, he soon surprisingly found himself an international celebrity. Expectations arose that he would be called to Stockholm. But the Nobel Committee for Physics refused to acknowledge “speculations” such as Einstein’s. The dismissal of relativity entailed principled and biased opposition, and not simply mistakes in evaluation. Several committee members agreed that Einstein must not receive a Nobel Prize.  After the performance, the playwright, director and actors will be available for a talk-back audience discussion.

Spring 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014,  4:30 PM, The Science Center, Room 4102

Burnet Picture

Frank Burnet, Emeritus Professorship of Science Communication, University of the West of England
Burnet will draw on thirty years’ experience at the cutting edge of science communication to illustrate and explore how it has evolved and where it might be heading in the future.

Fall 2013

Wed., Oct 16, 6:00pm, Science Center, rm 4102
A TASTE OF MOLECULES: In Search of the Secrets of Flavor
a book talk by author Diane Fresquez
Published by the Feminist Press of CUNY, supported in part by the National Science Foundation

Co-sponsor: the Women’s Studies Certificate Program / Center for Women and Society

Wed., Dec. 4, 6:00pm, Science Center, rm 4102
By Jennifer Blackmer
A staged reading by Break A Leg Productions
Directed by Gerald vanHeerden
Edith Hahn and Lise Meitner discuss the bomb, the Nazis and Otto’s Nobel Prize as an imagined friendship blossoms between the scientist and the artist.

Spring 2013

Friday, February 15, 6:30 pm, Elebash Recital Hall
It’s 1945. As atomic bombs are on their way to Japan, five top German nuclear scientists, along with their British handler, are held at an English country manor, Farm Hall. Join us for the world premiere reading of this new historical play by David C Cassidy (Hofstra University), Prof of Natural Science and award-winning author. Reading by Break A Leg Productions.

April 3 – 5, 9:00am – 5:00 pm, Proshansky Auditorium
SIMPLICITY: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics & the Arts
Join us for a 3-day conference featuring lectures by and conversations among twenty-five mathematicians, artists, art historians, philosophers, and architects on the “criteria of simplicity.” Each day of this conference will feature talks and roundtable discussions interspersed by screenings of films by artists Andy Goldsworthy (NY Premiere), David Hammons, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol and William Wegman.
A schedule of the events is in development at the conference website.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 6:30 pm, Science Center (Room 4102)
This new play (by Vince LiCata) is a semi-absurdist, cinematically stylized re-telling of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Both historically and scientifically accurate, the play raises the question of who should have received credit for this discovery. Directed by Gerald vanHeerden and read by Break A Leg Productions.
First come, first seated – very limited seating.

Friday, April 26, 2013, 6:30 pm, Elebash Recital Hall
An innovative dance-multimedia celebration of the story and search for gravity waves at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). AstroDance blends dancers, narration, multimedia imagery and film to create an audience experience that is both educational and entertaining.
Performed by dancers from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. Conceived and created by choreographer Thomas Warfield.

Fall 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 6:30 pm, Science Center (Room 4102)
Einstein and Picasso: The art of science and the science of art

Almost simultaneously, in the first decade of the 20th century, Albert Einstein discovered relativity and Pablo Picasso cubism. Arthur I. Miller (History and Philosophy of Science, University College London), author of Einstein, Picasso, discusses their often turbulent personal lives, the high drama of their struggles to achieve new ideas in the face of opposition from contemporaries, and the unlikely sources for their creative leaps.


Aglow in the Dark – POSTPONED
Monday, November 5, 6:30 pm, Elebash Recital Hall

*** Due to complications caused by Hurricane Sandy, we must postpone this November 5th event. Check back for the new date. ***

David Gruber (Biology and Environmental Science, Baruch College and the Graduate Center) will explain the science of biofluorescence, from glow worms to coral reefs.
Filmmaker Cameron Gainer will introduce and screen his extraordinarily beautiful short film Luna del Mar, shot in a bioluminescent bay.
Inspired by the American Museum of Natural History’s current Creatures of Light exhibition.


Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 pm, Proshansky Auditorium
In the not-too-distant future, a genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel. Following a screening of Andrew Niccol’s critically acclaimed film (1997), a panel will discuss the ethical issues raised in the film.
Co-presented by the Imagine Science Film Festival and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange

Monday, Dec. 17, 6:30 pm, Elebash Recital Hall
Revisiting the Rosenberg Trial
In his riveting nonfiction book The Brother, now adapted for the stage, New York Times investigative reporter Sam Roberts returns to the 1950s Cold War treason trial and execution of suspected Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The evening will feature a reading from the new play, directed by Ian Strasfogel, followed by a discussion of its endlessly fascinating subject matter.
Co-presented with the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center



Wednesday, March 28, 6:30pm
The James Gallery
Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art
Join New York Times art critic Ken Johnson, artist Carroll Dunham and medical anthropologist and historian of science Nicolas Langlitz (Anthropology, New School
for Social Research) for a discussion about the enduring influence that the use of hallucinogens and the psychedelic experience has had on American culture. In his
new book, Are You Experienced? Johnson asserts that in the 1960’s “some kind of awakening took place in art. . . and the creative and intellectual energies that were brought to life are still feeding the imaginations of artists today.” Moderated by
Miciah Hussey (English, GC CUNY).
Co-sponsored by
Center for the Humanities

Monday, May 7, 6:30 pm
Martin E Segal Theatre
Copernicus: A More Perfect Heaven
Presentation by Dava Sobel
In her new book, A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos, bestselling author Dava Sobel (Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter) brings us a portrait of Copernicus’s scientific achievement against a background of religious and social turmoil. The evening will include a performance of scenes from a play Sobel has written about Copernicus in conversation with a mathematician. Play reading by Break A Leg Productions.

Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center
Survival of the Beautiful
Would “Survival of the Fittest” be better termed “Survival of the Beautiful”? David Rothenberg will discuss how nature often seems to favor beauty, whether it is in the constructions of the bower bird, the fantastic tail of a peacock or the song of a nightingale. Animal behaviorist Ofer Tchernichovski will speak about the dynamics of vocal learning and the glories of birdsong. The event will conclude with an excerpt from the extraordinary film Proteus (David Lebrun, 2004), which tells the story behind Ernst Haeckels’s dazzling illustrations of radiolaria, among the earliest — and arguably most beautiful — forms of life.


Fall 2011



How do state-of-the art technologies augment the artist’s imagination in the 21st century? Presentation by Suzanne Anker, co-author of The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age, visual artist and theoretician.

Thursday, October 6, 6:00 PM

The Graduate Center, James Gallery
Sponsored by Science & the Arts, The Center for Women and Society and the James Gallery / Center for the Humanities



A screening of the classic feature Flatliners, which explores the realm of the afterlife. Followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jad Abumrad, with legendary filmmaker Joel Schumacher and physicians Benjamin Abella and Christian Macedonia.

Wednesday, October 19, 7:00 PM

The Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium
Sponsored by Science & the Arts, the Imagine Science Film Festival and the National Academy of Sciences Science and Entertainment Exchange



A reading from W.S. Gilbert’s Pygmalion and Galatea (with Laila Robins and Arthur Aulisi) will be followed by a discussion on gender, ethics and the science of cloning with a psychoanalyst, bioethicist and scholar of Victorian culture.

Monday, October 31, 7:30 PM
The Graduate Center, Elebash Recital Hall
Sponsored by Science & the Arts and The NY Psychoanalytic Society and Institute



The Nobel Foundation decides to award a “retro-Nobel” for the discovery of oxygen –but who should it go to? In this acclaimed play by Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann, the action alternates between 1777 and 2001. Reading by Break A Leg Productions

Monday, November 14, 7:00 PM
Baruch College, Engelman Recital Hall
Sponsored by Science & the Arts and Baruch College, as part of the Marie Curie Centennial Symposium. Details and registration at:



Iddo Netanyahu’s play A Happy End follows a Jewish physicist, head of the atomic lab at the University of Berlin, through the arduous decision of whether to leave Germany in 1932. Following the reading, Netanyahu will talk with scientist, playwright, and Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann.

Monday, December 12, 6:30 PM
The Graduate Center, Elebash Recital Hall
Sponsored by Science & the Arts and the Martin E Segal Theatre Center

Spring 2011



Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus, MD, talks with the artist Lauren Redniss about science, art, process, discovery, and the current New York Public Library exhibition of Redniss’s new book – Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout.

Friday, January 21, 7:30 PM

New York Public Library
South Court Auditorium, Steven A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Ave. and 42nd St.
Free, but reserve at:
Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and the New York Public Library



How can art and science be taught together in the university classroom? In this lively discussion, presented in affiliation with the College Art Association, panelists will present examples of best practices in the field.

Thursday, Feb. 10, 12:30 PM

Rooms 9206 / 9207


Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and the Leonardo Education and Art Forum.



Creationism in the Classroom? View a screening of this new documentary, followed by a panel discussion. The film argues why science education is crucial in a healthy democracy, and documents the ongoing struggle to keep pseudo-science out of the science classroom.

Tuseday, March 15, 6:30 PM
Martin E. Segal Theatre


arcadia_guy Event Cancelled



Based on a true story. A concentration camp prisoner is kept alive by the Nazis because he has invented the world’s first hand-held four function calculator. What will happen when he completes the invention and he becomes dispensable? This riveting new play by Kenneth Lin will be read by the acting company Break A Leg Productions.

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall
Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and the Center for Jewish Studies



The Civilians, a New York-based theater company, creates original work derived from investigations into the world beyond the theater. Hear excerpts from their new play-with-music, The Great Immensity, exploring the themes of climate change, deforestation and extinction.

Friday, April 22, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall
Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and the Martin E Segal Theatre Center



Did you know that everything you see, touch, hear, smell, and taste makes up only 4 percent of what is actually out there? The rest of the universe is completely unknown, or “dark”, and scientists have been working rigorously to determine what’s out there. Richard Panek will speak about his new book The Four Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality.

Monday, May 9, 6:00 PM
Room 4102


Fall 2010



Siri Hustvedt, bestselling novelist and author of the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves, will offer a reading as well as a discussion of neuroscience, psychoanalysis and the novel. Rebecca Jordan-Young (Barnard College), author of Brain Storm: Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences, will serve as discussant.“Siri Hustvedt, one of our finest novelists, has long been a brilliant explorer of brain and mind. Hustvedt’s erudite book deepens one’s wonder about the relation of body and mind.” —Oliver SacksTuesday, September 28, 6:00 PM
Segal Theatre
No reservations. First come, first seated.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Women and Society, the Ph.D. Program in English, and the Center for the Humanities.


Powers Celebrate 10/10/10 (a few days early). We will observe the date with a tribute to the classic short film Powers of Ten, by designers Charles and Ray Eames, which is a journey of scale, from the infinitesimal to the cosmic. Discussion with Beatriz Colomina, D Graham Burnett, and Eames Demetrios. One of the most widely seen short films of all time—at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for decades and still widely used in schools around the world—Powers of Ten has influenced pop culture from The Simpsons to the rock band Coldplay, from Hummer commercials to the movie Men in Black.Wednesday, October 6, 7:00 PMElebash Recital HallNo reservations. First come, first seated.Co-Sponsored by Cabinet Magazine


creation A screening of Creation, a film about Charles Darwin’s personal and religious struggles to finish his legendary book “On the Origin of Species.” The screening will be followed by a discussion with Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great great grandson and biographer, and the eminent biologists Sean B Carroll and Cliff Tabin, moderated by science writer Carl Zimmer. Expected appearance by film director Jon Amiel. Shown in collaboration with the Imagine Science Film Festival and the Science & Entertainment Exchange of the National Academy of Sciences.Wednesday, Oct 20, 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital HallNo reservations. First come, first seated.
conference Fri Oct 29, Sat Oct 30Tickets and information at


Big_Bang How does the CBS television situation-comedy The Big Bang Theory keep it’s science references accurate? Physicist David Saltzberg (UCLA) is the series consultant. Saltzberg checks scripts and meets with the producers, writers, actors, set decorators, prop masters, and costume designers to help ensure scientific accuracy. He also writes a blog The Big Blog Theory that explains the science behind each episode.Friday, October 29, 7:00 PM, Proshansky AuditoriumReserve your free seat :


copenhagen A reading of selections from the play Copenhagen and a discussion by scientists and historians. Reading performed by Break A Leg Productions. Copenhagen is a Tony-award winning play by Michael Frayn, based around an event that occurred in Copenhagen in 1941, at a meeting between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg.Friday, November 12, 6:30 PMElebash Recital HallNo reservations. First come, first seated.

Spring 2010

Eye Tracking Forum

kandinsky How do we look at art? Fast, slow, in detail or in its entirety? Scientists have developed a tool that tracks the movement of a person’s eyes. In this special event, which focuses on the examination of a painting by Vasily Kandinsky, eye tracking will be looked at from many perspectives.
A symposium for scholars co-sponsored by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.Wednesday, January 13, 9:00 AM
Segal TheatreThe Eyetracking Forum, which was inspired by the Kandinsky retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, examined eyetracking technology from the perspectives of art, psychology and data visualization. It can be viewed at the CUNY YouTube channel here.

The Madame Curie Complex

curie_pic Why are science and technology still considered predominantly male professions? In her new book, The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science, Julie Des Jardins provides historical context and unexpected revelations about women’s contributions to the sciences.
Co-sponsored by The Feminist Press and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.
Thursday, March 11, 6:30 PM
Segal Theatre
No reservations. First come, first seated.Julie Des Jardin’s presentation on her new book The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science can be viewed here at the C-SPAN2 Book TV site.

Streb: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero

Streb_book MacArthur Fellow Elizabeth Streb has been testing the potential of the human body since childhood. Can she fly? Can she run up walls? Can she break through glass? How fast can she go? In her new book Streb: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero, she conveys how she developed a form of movement that’s more NASCAR than modern dance, more boxing than ballet.
Co-sponsored by The Feminist Press
Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 PM
Proshansky Auditorium
No reservations. First come, first seated

Imaging / Imagining The Skeleton

wrist A symposium on how conceptions of the skeleton have evolved alongside the increasing ability of science to represent the body. Medicine, critical theory, anthropology, and art history will be represented. Symposium detailsCo-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Art HistoryFriday, April 30, 1:00 PM
Rooms 9206 / 9207
No reservations. First come, first seated

Transistor Shock

ishockl001p1 A university is offered funding, but only if they’ll name a building for William Shockley, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the transistor, but was infamous for his support of eugenics. What do they do?Join us for a dramatic reading of Transistor Shock, a new play by Ivan K. Schuller and Adam Smith, performed by Break A Leg Productions. William Shockley was an American physicist and inventor. Along with two colleagues, Shockley co-invented the transistor, for which all three were awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics. Shockley’s commercial enterprises helped create California’s “Silicon Valley.” In his later years, Shockley espoused eugenics — the practice of selective breeding applied to humans.Following the performance, the playwrights will hold a discussion with the audience.Wednesday, May 26, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall
No reservations. First come, first seated

Astronomy’s New Messengers: Science and Design Collide

LIGO_2 Learn about the power and beauty of LIGO, a new kind of telescope-one that observes not light but gravitational waves from millions of light years away. In a panel discussion, LIGO scientist Marco Cavaglia, designer Lee Skolnick and light artist Leni Schwendinger will offer an in-depth look at the design process for the exhibit Astronomy’s New Messenger at the 2010 World Science Festival. The exhibition aims to communicate the wonder of our universe and explain the search for gravitational waves from the most violent astrophysical events. The panel will present a brief overview of the project and discuss the design challenges of translating this complex science into an educational exhibition for all ages.In affiliation with the World Science Festival
Co-sponsored by LIGO, Light Projects, and LHSA+DPThursday, June 3, 6:30 PM
Segal Theatre
No reservations. First come, first seated

FALL 2009


Reyjkavik_thumb Reading of play by renowned historian Richard Rhodes about the nuclear disarmament talks held in Reykjavik, Iceland between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Rhodes will conduct a post performance discussion.Wednesday, September 9, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall


Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze

Truthvalues_thumb Writer/performer and recovering mathematician Gioia De Cari offers a woman’s perspective on the exotic boys club of higher mathematics at MIT, in this autobiographical solo show.Friday, October 9, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey

quantumquest_thumb In collaboration with the Imagine Science Film Festival, Science & the Arts presents the New York City premier of this animated film about space exploration, followed by a panel discussion featuring film writer/director Harry Kloor.Wednesday, October 21, 7:00 PM
Proshansky Auditorium

Science Film Shorts

einstein_doll_sm In collaboration with the Imagine Science Film Festival, Science & the Arts presents an evening of short narrative films with a connection to science.Thursday, October 22, 7:00 PM
Elebash Recital Hall

The Theory of Everything

TheoryofEverything_thumb Encompass New Opera Theatre’s The Theory of Everything has music by John David Earnest and a libretto by Nancy Rhodes. The opera, a work-in-progress, is a scientific and metaphysical search into other dimensions and alternate universes. There will be a post-performance discussion with Sultan Catto, Professor of Physics, CUNY Graduate Center.Saturday, November 14, 2:00 pm
Elebash Recital Hall


DjSpooky_thumb An exploration of the science and history behind Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica,, a new multimedia performance by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky). A co-presentation with the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History. Ticket information.Sunday, November 15, 4:00 PM
American Museum of Natural History


Age_of_Stupid A man living alone in the devastated world of 2055 watches archive footage from 2008 and asks, “Why didn’t we stop climate change?” See the film about global warming, set in the future, when our era appears to be “The Age of Stupid.” After the screening, hear a response from Dr. Charles Vorosmarty, Director of the CUNY Environmental Cross-Roads Initiative. You may read about Dr. Vorosmarty here and hear him discuss water resources here.
Co-sponsored by the RSA.A transcription of Dr. Charles Vorosmarty’s remarks can be read here.Tuesday, December 1, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall


milner4 An encore presentation! Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday with Richard Milner, the singing Darwin scholar. Milner is an anthropologist and author of Darwin’s Universe. He is also a performer of humorous songs about Darwin, in the style of the music hall and Gilbert and Sullivan. An evening of science, history, hilarity, and music entwined! Listen to an interview with Milner on the Voice of America.Thursday, December 17, 6:30 PM
Elebash Recital Hall
No reservations. First come, first seated.

Spring 2009 Events

Starry Messenger

Star_Mess_thumb A staged reading of Starry Messenger, Ira Hauptman’s drama about Galileo’s attempt to hold together science, religion, and his turbulent family. Performed by Break A Leg Productions.Thursday, Feb. 26, 7:00 PM

Our Future Scientists: A Townhall Meeting

Nat_Obs_thumb Join us for a screening of the new one-hour documentary Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist, by Richard and Carole Rifkind, about the struggle to become a scientist and the satisfaction of discovery. Mixing humor with heartbreak, the film tells an intensely dramatic story about a trio of irrepressible student scientists who are guided through the emotional ups and downs of a PhD training program by a tough but genial mentor.A discussion with laboratory scientists that follows the screening will allow an exchange of ideas on what’s needed to maintain an ample pipeline of future scientists.Moderator:
Robert Krulwich,National Public RadioPanelists:
Prof. Joy Hirsch, Columbia University
Prof. Ben Ortiz, Hunter College
Prof. Susan Zolla-Pazner, New York UniversityWednesday, March 4, 6:30 PM

Experimental Man

ExpMan Best-selling author David Ewing Duncan takes “guinea pig” journalism to the cutting edge of science. His mission, as perhaps the most tested healthy person in history, is to discover what cutting-edge medical technology can tell him, and us, about our future health; the effects of living in a toxin-soaked world; and how genes, proteins, personal behavior, and an often-hostile environment interact within our bodies.Tuesday, March 17, 6:30 PM

Evolution: Darwin’s Top 10 Choices

Milner What were Darwin’s Top 10 Choices? Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species with a presentation by Richard Milner. Milner, the singing Darwin scholar, is a master storyteller and author of The Encyclopedia of Evolution and the forthcoming Darwin’s Universe. Milner has lectured and performed at locales around the world, including Darwin’s beloved Galapagos Islands. Master lyricist Sheldon (Fiddler on the Roof) Harnick said, “(Milner’s) lyrics are expert especially because they’re so scientifically rich.” An evening of science, history, hilarity, and music entwined!Wednesday, April 29, 6:30 PM

Artists & Science Writers: Finding Common Ground

May_11 Science and art — what’s the attraction? Join us for fascinating conversations with artists and science writers.
This event is co-hosted with the National Association of Science Writers
– Arthur Giron, playwright, author of “Flight,” “Moving Bodies,” “Emilie’s Voltaire,” and other plays dealing with scientific themes, in conversation with Mariette DiChristina, Scientific American executive editor.
– Justine Cooper, visual artist, creator of “Saved by Science,” “Havidol,” and other works of art inspired by science, in conversation with Lee Hotz, Wall Street Journal columnist.
– Liz Lerman, choreographer, creator of the dance “Ferocious Beauty: Genome” and a new work about the Manhattan Project, in conversation with Robin Marantz Henig, New York Times Magazine contributing writer.
See demonstrations of these artists’ work, and listen to them talk about the creative process.Monday, May 11, 1 – 5 pm

Between the Folds: The Art and Science of Origami

origami_thumb The science and art of origami is explored in the New York premiere screening of the award-winning documentary “Between the Folds.” MIT’s Erik Demaine received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in computational origami. Demaine, who was the youngest professor ever hired by MIT, will discuss the math behind the folds and the real-world applications of origami concepts. Origami, for Demaine, is the key to understanding major scientific problems such as the structure of rogue proteins. Filmmaker Vanessa Gould will introduce the film and the audience will have the opportunity to create some origami.Monday, May 11, 6:30 PM

Picturing Earth: The Story of Life in Images

Lanting See the planet through the eyes of one of its most intrepid talented photographers, hear about the lengths traveled to capture his remarkable images, and explore the important lessons they teach us about the story of life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to its present diversity. National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting screens excerpts of “LIFE: A Journey Through Time” and sits down for discussion with special guests.Ticket information:
Produced in cooperation with the World Science FestivalFriday, June 12, 7:00 PM

Origami: From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes

Lang_origami Dr. Robert J. Lang is one of the world’s leading origami masters, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is known for his complex and elegant designs, most notably of insects and animals. Trained as a physicist, he has long been a student of the mathematics of origami and of using computers to study the theories behind origami. In addition to creating intricate origami paper sculptures, Dr. Lang applies his knowledge of folding to solve complex problems in science and engineering.Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and Math for AmericaWednesday, July 1, 6:30 PM

Fall 2008 Events

This season, Science & the Arts has focused primarily on the Manhattan Project, the program to develop nuclear weapons during World War II. Our events were presented in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera, which presented John Adams’ new opera Doctor Atomic this fall. In addition to a remarkable slate of speakers — including Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners — we had over 10 octogenarian and nonagenarian scientists who were active participants in the Manhattan Project, making this an event of historic importance.

Picturing the Bomb – an exhibition


Photographers Rachel Fermi (granddaughter of the physicist Enrico Fermi) and Esther Samra curate an exhibition of photographs from the secret world of the Manhattan Project. Included are images of scientific experiments and their consequences, as well official portraits and casual snapshots.
Exhibition Hallway, first floor.

October 6 – ongoing

The History, Science and Scientists of the Bomb


-Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
-Norman Ramsey, Nobel Laureate, Physics, Harvard University
Eyewitness to the Manhattan Project
-Edward Gerjuoy, Physics, University of Pittsburgh
Recollections of J. Robert Oppenheimer
-Robert S. Norris, Senior Research Associate, Natural Resources Defense Council
The 1,000 Days to Trinity

Saturday, October 11, 1:00 PM

The Making of the Opera Doctor Atomic


-Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
-John Adams, Composer
-Penny Woolcock, Director
-Julian Crouch, Set Designer
-Gerald Finley, Baritone, “J. Robert Oppenheimer”

Saturday, October 11, 4:30 PM

J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Man, the Manager, the Physicist


-David Cassidy, historian, Hofstra University
Oppenheimer and his Physics
-Robert Crease, philosopher, SUNY Stony Brook
Oppenheimer: A Tragic Hero?
-Jeremy Bernstein, physicist and author
Personal Reflections on Oppenheimer

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6:30 PM

The Manhattan Project: Places, People and Power


-Rachel Fermi and Esther Samra, Photographers
Photographs from the Secret World of the Manhattan Project
-Harold Agnew, Former Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Chicago, Los Alamos, Tinian Island and the Atomic Bomb
-Manhattan Project Veterans offer their recollections: Harold Agnew, Albert Bartlett, Benjamin Bederson, Robert J. Brown, Morton Camac, Hans Courant, Roy Glauber, E. Leonard Jossem, Nathan T. Melamed, Murray Peshkin

Friday, Oct. 17, 3:00 PM

Wartime Decisions and the Atomic Age


-Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, George Mason University
J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb
-Harry Lustig, Physics, City College of New York
Did the Allies Know That The Germans Were Not Building an Atomic Bomb?
-Gar Alperovitz, Political Economy, University of Maryland
The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

Friday, Oct. 17, 6:30 PM

Their Day in the Sun: Women of the Manhattan Project


Ruth Howes, Physics, Marquette University
Learn about the scientific problems the women of the Manhattan project helped to solve as well as the discrimination they faced in their work. How did they cope with their abrupt recruitment and with everyday life in the clandestine, improvised communities? What happened to them after the war?

Monday, October 20, 6:30 PM

Los Alamos – a novel


Joseph Kanon, Novelist, New York
In a dusty, remote community of secretly constructed buildings and awesome possibility, the world’s most brilliant minds have come together. In Kanon’s bestselling novel, set in Los Alamos, there also resides an unraveler of human secrets – a man in search of a killer.

Tuesday, October 21, 6:30 PM

Imagine Science Film Festival


Join us for the NY premier of BLAST!, a new feature film by Paul Devlin. Journey from Sweden to Antarctica following physicists who attempt to look back in time and take a snap shot of the universe’s beginnings by launching a Balloon-borne, Large Aperture, Sub-millimeter Telescope (BLAST) into the atmosphere. Working with NASA, the crew members encounter problems which stand to render the entire multi-million dollar project dead in the water. BLAST! will take you to new heights while tiptoeing on the rim of disaster in the pursuit of scientific achievement. Imagine Science Film Festival
Also – short film “Apollo 10-1/2”

Thursday, October 23, 7:00 PM

Remembering the Manhattan Project


Cynthia Kelly, President, Atomic Heritage Foundation
Preserving the Manhattan Project
Ben Bederson, Manhattan Project Veteran at Los Alamos
Memoirs of an SED
David Pines, Former Student of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Remembering Opje
Theodore Rockwell, Manhattan Project Veteran at Oak Ridge
Creating the New World

Saturday, November 8, 2008 – C 198, 10:15 am

Uranium + Peaches – a play reading


A Play in One Act by Peter Cook & William Lanouette
Staged Reading by Break-A-Leg Productions,
The scientist behind the bomb wants to stop it…
The politician behind the president wants to drop it…
In the dramatic and fateful confrontation between Einstein’s protégé, Leo Szilard, and Truman’s mentor, Jimmy Byrnes, science battles politics in the timeless struggle against the corruption of human ingenuity.

Monday, November 10, 6:30 PM

International Polar Year Celebration


Sound and video from new media artist Andrea Polli (you heard her on NPR’s Studio 360) and a preview of Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. Both artists had residencies in Antarctica.

Featuring Dr. Karen St.Germain, NOAA’s Division Chief for the next generation of polar-orbiting environmental satellites, which will monitor the earth’s weather, atmosphere, oceans, land, and near-space environment.

Monday, December 8, 6:30 PM

Spring – Summer 2008 Events

Galileo’s Muse

lute_sm Galileo’s Muse celebrates the surprising relationship between one of history’s greatest scientists and the spirited music of late Renaissance Italy. Who would have thought the lute (a close cousin of the guitar) held the key to one of Galileo’s most important breakthroughs? This concert shows how — with lively music, engaging explanations, and a reenactment of the experiment that led Galileo to formulate the Law of Falling Bodies. Co-sponsored by the Doctoral Program in Music Performance.#7564 – Wednesday, January 30, 8:00 PM (note later time)

BrainwavE: The NeuroScience of the Groove


What is the explanation for our love of music, rhythm and dance? In this evening of erudition and performance, Columbia University neuroscientists Dave Sulzer (a.k.a. composer Dave Soldier) and John Krakauer will discuss the brain activity that makes us groove to the beat of music. Krakauer co-directs the Motor Performance Laboratory and Soldier investigates synaptic connections that underlie memory, learning and behavior. Featuring the premiere of Soldier’s “Trio for percussion and brain waves,” a live performance/experiment with drummers and electroencephalographs.

#7533 – Monday, March 24, 6:30 PM


Bubbles in Beijing: Architecture, Physics, and
the Olympics


The Olympic aquatics pavilion in Beijing resembles a box of bubbles. This extraordinary structure and the feat of engineering required to build it will be discussed by Denis Weaire, physics professor at Trinity College Dublin, who first observed the efficiency of bubble structures. He’ll be joined by Daniel Brodkin, a principal in the New York office of the engineering firm Arup, famous for their design contributions to some of the greatest buildings of our times.

#7534 – Tuesday, April 1, 6:30 PM




Liz Lerman, choreographer, believes in the power of art to enhance civic dialogue. Her new dance/theater piece, Ferocious Beauty: Genome, investigates the implications of genetic research. Among her collaborators in creating the work was Bonnie Bassler, renowned Princeton University microbiologist, who will join her in a dialogue. The talk will be illustrated with video segments, providing a preview of the dance piece before its first performance in the New York area.

#7535 – Monday, April 7, 6:30 PM


Manhattan / Farm Hall


A play reading about the moral dilemmas surrounding the building of The Bomb, written by French actor Olivier Treiner and his father, physicist Jacques Treiner, who will be present at the performance. How did American scientists wrestle with their concerns about the use of atomic weaponry? How did German scientists react to the bomb that leveled Hiroshima? The play, based in part on actual transcripts of conversations, delves into these complex issues. Reading by Break A Leg Productions.

#7567 – Thursday, April 24, 6:30 PM

Hollywood science EVENT CANCELLED


From space travel and genetic engineering to global warming, science is portrayed on movie screens with fact and fantasy, and scientists are heroes, nerds, and villains. Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University and author of the new book Hollywood Science, discusses the portrayal of science in films, from science fiction to scientific biographies and documentaries, and screens some examples.

#7536 – Tuesday, April 29, 6:30 PM



Who deserves the Nobel Prize for the discovery of oxygen? Three scientists — Lavoisier, Priestley, and Scheele — lay claim to the prize in this play, written by two renowned chemists, Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann. The play, which takes place in both 1777 and 2001, examines the nature of discovery and the desire for recognition that motivated scientists then as now. Reading by Break A Leg Productions.
Limited seating.

A World Science Festival event

#7568 – Thursday, May 29, 6:30 PM

Einstein’s Dreams


May 29, 30, 31

The young Einstein dreams…

Berne, Switzerland, 1905: Einstein is a modest patent clerk in a new marriage, struggling to make ends meet while in the back of his mind re-conceiving time!

This brilliant new stage adaptation by Wesley Savick of Alan Lightman’s internationally acclaimed novel Einstein’s Dreams will be performed by Boston’s Underground Railway Theater. The play, an inventive, poetic and charming work, was the inaugural event in a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Underground Railway Theater, conceived to develop new plays about science. The performances will be followed by informal discussions with guest writers.

General admission $20. Purchase Tickets:

A World Science Festival event

Thursday, May 29, 8:00 PM
Alan Lightman – post-performance discussion

Lightman’s novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages. Both a distinguished physicist and an accomplished novelist, Lightman was the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities.


Walter Isaacson – post-performance discussion

Isaacson is President of the Aspen Institute. He has been Chairman of CNN and the editor of Time Magazine. He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Friday, May 30, 8:00 PM

Alan Lightman – post-performance discussion

INovelist Lightman returns for a second discussion.

Saturday, May 31, 2:00 PM
Alan J. Friedman – post-performance discussion

Co-author of Einstein as Myth and Muse, published by Cambridge University Press. For 22 years Dr. Friedman served as Director of the New York Hall of Science, New York City’s public science-technology center.

Press Materials Here

ICSI and Taboos


The plays ICSI and Taboos dramatize — with wit — the social transformations and contested viewpoints created by advances in reproductive science. Readings from the plays will be performed by the theater company Break a Leg Productions. Playwright Carl Djerassi is “the father of The Pill” (he was awarded the National Medal of Science for the first synthesis of an oral contraceptive) and has had a prolific additional career as a writer of fiction and plays about science. Produced by Redshift Productions in collaboration with Science & the Arts.

Thursday, July 31, 7:00 PM

Fall 2007 Events

Illuminating Coney Island


Thirty-seven years have passed since the closing of Coney Island’s world-renowned Parachute Jump ride. In 2006 the 277-foot structure was illuminated by Leni Schwendinger and her firm, Light Projects. Colored light transforms the filigreed steel Parachute Jump framework into a shimmering icon for Coney Island and all of Brooklyn. With designer Leni Schwendinger, Martin Maher, Brooklyn Chief of Staff, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and Peter Jacobson, Lighting Specialist, Con Edison.

#7427 – Tuesday, September 25, 6:30 PM

Synagogues in Germany: A Virtual Reconstruction

synagogue During the Nazi era, over 1,400 synagogues were destroyed. Through a student initiative at the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, several synagogues have been virtually recreated using computer aided design, revealing a rich and diverse architectural history. Manfred Koob and Marc Grellert (Darmstadt University of Technology) and Carol Herselle Krinsky (New York University) will show the re-creations and provide historical and contemporary context. Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Science & the Arts, and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa).#7428 – Monday, October 29, 6:30 PM



The Pari Center for New Learning, located in a quiet hilltop village in Italy, fosters an interdisciplinary approach linking science, the arts, ethics and spirituality. David Peat, author, physicist and philosopher, directs the Center and will speak on the relationship between language, reality and physics. He will ask if science is about what we know about the world, or what we can say about the world. He will also explore the way science and the arts can stimulate and cross fertilize each other. With stand-up comedy from Jena Axelrod.

#7455 – Tuesday, November 6, 6:30 PM

A Scientist Goes to the Movies: The Matrix


The 1999 science fiction action film, The Matrix, describes a future in which the world we know is actually the Matrix, a simulated reality created by sentient machines in order to subdue and make use of the human population as an energy source. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (American Museum of Natural History) and Corey Powell, Executive Editor at Discover Magazine, will show selected scenes and discuss the science onscreen.

Thursday, November 8, 6:30 PM



Reading of a play by Lauren Gunderson. In 1948, as a young doctoral student, Ralph Alpher wrote the first mathematical model for the creation of the universe and predicted the discovery of cosmic background radiation that proves the Big Bang theory. He was ahead of his time. Decades later, two radio astronomers tuning their equipment stumbled on proof of Alpher’s background radiation. They got the credit-and the Nobel Prize. Presented by Break A Leg Productions. Following the play will be a question & answer period with the playwright
and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times science reporter, John Noble Wilford, moderated by Brian Schwartz.

#7457 – Tuesday, November 20, 6:30 PM

Spring 2007 Events

A Meeting of the Athanasius Kircher Society


The popular website, the “Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society,” named after a 17th-century polymath, inspired this evening of the wondrous and the arcane. Featuring ancient automata, extinct languages, curious inventions, and one notable savant.
For ticket information:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 7 PM
This event is sold out

Robot Dance Competition

robotDanceb Robo Cup Junior is an international robot design competition organized in elementary through high schools. Witness the crazy, colorful dance moves of the ‘bots, designed by the New York City-area teams.7321 – Thursday, February 1, 2007 2 PM

The Physics of the Buffyverse


Author Jennifer Ouellette’s The Physics of the Buffyverse uses the characters, concepts and plot lines of the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer to illustrate a wide range of fundamental concepts in the physical sciences: everything from sound, electricity, materials science, and thermodynamics, to concepts of time (and time travel), wormholes, black holes, and string theory. The evening will include demonstrations of the martial art of ju-jitsu.

Two performances on one evening:
7322 – Thursday, February 1, 2007 6 PM
7323 – Thursday, February 1, 2007 8 PM

“Flight,” a play by Arthur Giron


A comedic drama about the family life of the young Wright Brothers. “…[A] witty, touching flashback to the Wright brothers’ boyhood and the events that led to those momentous first flights in Kitty Hawk.” (NY Times). A play reading by Break A Leg Productions

7324 – Tuesday, February 27, 2007 6:30 PM

Ben Franklin’s Glass Armonica


The glass armonica’s celestial sound is created by placing moistened fingers on the edges of revolving crystal bowls of different sizes. Learn the history of Franklin’s invention and hear a performance by Cecilia Brauer including Mozart’s composition for the instrument. Composer Peter Kirn will discuss the physics behind the sound and how he has re-imagined the instrument in digital sound with visual effects.

7276 – Wednesday, March 21, 2007 6:30 PM — no seats left for the 6:30 show.
7337 – Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:00 PM

Yuri’s Night: A Celebration of Space Exploration


In 1961 Yuri Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut, became the first human being to leave Earth’s atmosphere. On April 12, revelers on all seven continents celebrate Yuri’s Night, the anniversary of his unprecedented voyage as well as the launch of the first Space Shuttle exactly 20 years later. This year New Yorkers will join them. The astronomy-themed festivities will include:

  • a virtual tour of the universe created by the Hayden Planetarium
  • Edward Belbruno, author of Fly Me to the Moon
  • Greg Olsen, Private Space Explorer/Cosmonaut who spent 8 days on the International Space Station
  • sound art by CUNY’s Intermedia Arts Group

7277 – Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:30 PM

Geometry and Art: From Escher to Animation


Geometry is a mathematical language of nature and art. It inspires sculptors and painters. Computer animators rely on it. Learn about mathematician Donald Coxeter and the work of contemporary artists who utilize geometry. With Siobhan Roberts, author of King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry and Emmy Award-winning animator Mark Neumann.

7278 – Wednesday, May 2, 2007 6:30 PM

String Theory for Dummies


An entertaining and informative discussion explaining string theory for a general audience. Many scientists feel string theory explains and unifies all of physics. Others feel it is a mathematical exercise that cannot be proven by experiment. All sides of this issue will be revealed.

7279 – Tuesday, May 22, 2007 6:30 PM

Fall 2006 Events

Ben Franklin’s Arcs and Sparks


The spirit of Ben Franklin comes alive as lightning bolts and electrical fire dance on the stage and some of Franklin’s most dramatic experiments are recreated using reproductions of eighteenth-century equipment. Join this celebration of Franklin’s 300th birthday with Jim Hardesty, physics historian and scientific instrument maker.

7136 – Monday, October 16, 2006 7:00 PM

Being Beakman


Paul Zaloom is a political satirist and puppeteer, but he’s best known as the title character on the award-winning children’s television series Beakman’s World, an irreverent look at science concepts from thermodynamics to the mechanics of flatulence. Beakman’s World will return to TV screens in fall 2006 and Zaloom will reveal the creative process in making science hip and entertaining.

7135 – Tuesday, October 24, 2006 7:00 PM

Science + Art Festival 2006
A city-wide celebration of science. Click for the full schedule of events.

Theatre of Science

SPECIAL EVENT at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue New York, NY 10003. Ticket purchase required for this event.Thursday, November 9 through Sunday, November 12 2006

A Scientist Goes to the Movies

tyson Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, will screen scenes from the 1997 film Contact. He’ll distinguish science fact from science fiction. Joined by Ann Druyan, who produced the film from the novel by her husband, Carl Sagan.7134 – Friday, November 10 2006 6:30 PM

Verse and Universe

penandpaper A series of readings, talks and a panel discussion on poetry inspired by science. Organized by poet Kurt Brown. Participants: Roald Hoffmann, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Forrest Gander and Alison Hawthorne Deming.7138 – Friday and Saturday, November 10 and 11 2006

Tesla’s Letters, a play by Jeffrey Stanley

tesla An American student goes to war-torn Yugoslavia to research the life, letters and inventions of the great scientist Nikola Tesla. Bargaining for information, she is drawn into the violence and intrigue ravaging Tesla’s homeland.
A play reading by Break a Leg Productions. Directed by Christopher Bellis.
7188 – Monday, December 11, 2006 6pm

Spring – Summer 2006 Events

Science Valentine


Celebrate with a vaudeville evening featuring Lynda Williams, the “Physics Chanteuse”(Santa Rosa Junior College), and Bob Friedhoffer, magician and educator.

6982 – Tuesday, February 14, 2006 6pm Free

Soft Science


Experimental films on science
Soft Science is a collection of videos created by artists and scientists, curated by Rachel Mayeri. This unique program includes digital movies by biologists alongside contemporary video art. Rachel Mayeri is a filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA.

6954 – Wednesday, March 1 2006

An Experiment with an Air Pump


Furtive romance, farce, science and buried secrets. Reading of a play by Shelagh Stephenson about ethical choices made in the pursuit of scientific progress. The play flashes between 1799 and 1999, both years of extraordinary medical breakthroughs.
Presented by Break A Leg Productions

6955 Tuesday, March 28 2006 FREE

Robot Dance Competition

jd1 RoboCup Junior is an international robot design competition organized in elementary through high schools. Witness the crazy, colorful dance moves of the ‘bots, designed by the NYC-area teams.6956 – Friday, March 31 2006

The Violin: De-Coding Perfection

sam_viola Learn the history of the famous Stradivarius violins from Toby Faber, author of Stradivari’s Genius: Five Violins, One Cello and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection. Then learn about the new approaches to the craft employed by a renowned contemporary instrument maker, Sam Zygmuntowicz , who makes faithful copies of classic instruments as well as fresh interpretations in the classic style. Co-sponsored by the Ph.D./D.M.A. Programs in Music.6957 – Wednesday, April 5 2006

Nanotech: When Things Get Small


What could a stadium-sized bowl of peanuts, a magic tennis ball, shrinking elephants, and a crazed hockey player possibly teach us about nanoscience? Not Too Serious Labs’ production “When Things Get Small” – a departure from your typical science-for-television fare – uses these and other comic inventions to take viewers on a comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. View the half-hour film and hear from renowned physicist Ivan Schuller on making physics fun on film. First showing in NYC.
More at

7060 – Wednesday, April 26 2006

Some Fantastic Realities

wilczek A talk by Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 and Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, MIT, to celebrate the publication of his new book Fantastic Realities: 49 Mind Journeys and a Trip to Stockholm.
More at, April 28, 2006 3:30PM

Big Bang


Premiere of a new work of concert theater inspired by astrophysics. Music by composer Patrick Grant, who combines live performance with cutting edge technology. Narration by Dr. Charles Liu, astronomer on the faculty of College of Staten Island, CUNY.

6959 – Monday, May 15 2006

“Intelligent Design” under the Microscope


An evening of presentations on the controversial movement. What is the history of the movement? What are its scientific claims? What impact will it have on our schools? Hear speakers from the fields of science, journalism, theology, and law. Co-organized by Science & the Arts and the Center for Inquiry. Supported in part by the Albert and Lin Bildner Foundation.

Speakers include:

  • James E. Darnell, molecular biologist, who’ll address the scientific strength of the theory of evolution.

  • Steve Harvey, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case of Kitzmiller vs Dover, the Pennsylvania legal case against teaching creationism in science classrooms

  • Linda Froschauer, Middle school science teacher and President-elect of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

  • Chris Mooney, author of the best-selling book “The Republican War on Science.”

  • Moderator: Austin Dacey, The Center for Inquiry.

6958- Monday, May 22 2006

Street Fair Science

street1 Why does popcorn pop and cotton candy spin? Savor science demonstrations while enjoying the fun of your neighborhood street fair! See science magic tricks. Have your photo taken with “Albert Einstein.” Enjoy hands-on experiments.Saturday, June 17, 11 am-6 pm – Third Avenue between 12th and 13th St.
Sunday, June 18, 11 am-6 pm – Lexington Avenue between 37th and 38th St.Participants include:

  • Science & the Arts at The Graduate Center of CUNY
  • The New York Hall of Science
  • The New York City Zoos and Aquarium
  • Robot Village
  • The Liberty Science Center
  • The New York Public Library
  • The Rutgers University Physics Department
  • The American Physical Society
  • The Amateur Astronomers Association
  • The Center for Inquiry
  • Bob Friedhoffer

Monday, June 26, 2006 5:00 PM



copenhagen Readings of excerpts from Michael Frayn’s renowned play Copenhagen, performed by Break A Leg Productions. The play reenacts the 1941 visit of Werner Heisenberg, who was then in charge of the Nazi nuclear power program, to Niels Bohr, his mentor and collaborator in creating quantum mechanics. The play won the 2000 Tony award for Best Play.Monday, June 26, 2006 5:00 PM

Big Bang


Performance of a new work in progress — concert theater inspired by astrophysics. Music by composer Patrick Grant, who combines live performance with cutting edge technology. Narration by Dr. Charles Liu, astronomer on the faculty of College of Staten Island, CUNY.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 5:00 PM

Lovesong of the Electric Bear, by Snoo Wilson


A reading of a new play on the life and times of Alan Turing, code breaker and father of artificial intelligence. British writer and fantasist Snoo Wilson explores Turing’s chaotic and creative life through the eyes of his teddy bear, Porgy.
Directed by Cheryl Faraone, Middlebury College

“A humorous, smart and moving piece of theatre.” The Washington Post, July 2005.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 7:00 PM

Fall 2005 Events

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane


A Talk by Daina Taimina and David Henderson

The surface of an orange is a sphere—what is the opposite of a sphere? The answer is a hyperbolic surface. Confused? Mathematicians Daina Tamina and David Henderson will explain the concept and share their exciting discovery that crocheting is an excellent means of modeling and understanding hyperbolic surfaces, and for exploring the ruffles of lettuce leaves and sea slugs, exponential growth, and potential shapes of the physical universe.

David Henderson and Daina Taimina, mathematicians, Cornell University
Authors of Experiencing Geometry: Euclidean and Non-Euclidean With History (Prentice-Hall, 2005)

Co-sponsored by Science & the Arts and the Institute For Figuring

6375 – Thursday, September 22, 2005
6366 – Thursday, September 22


Bessie Coleman

Staged reading of a play by Kate Aspengren. Should women be astronauts? The play leapfrogs through time and includes testimony from Congressional hearings on the subject in 1962. Presented by Break A Leg Productions.

6367 – Monday, October 17, 2005 6pm Free

Albert Einstein and Religion


A talk by Corey S. Powell.

Corey S. Powell, Senior Editor, Discover magazine; author, God in the Equation: How Einstein Became the Prophet of the New Religious Era.

6368 – Monday, October 24, 2005, 6pm Free

Voodoo Science in the Age of Intelligent Design

Voodoo_Science_s A talk by Robert L. Park.Robert L. Park, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland; author, Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud.6369 – Monday, October 31, 2005, 6pm Free

Visual Art & the Brain: At the Interface of Art and Science

Vision_and_Art_s Registration and further event information at conference will explore the nature of the science-art interface, the inspiration this interface provides to scientists and artists alike, and the impact of such interactions in areas of research and other human endeavors. The morning session will explore scientific perspectives: what is vision? How do we perceive art and why do we respond to it emotionally? The afternoon session will feature discussions with artists and scientists on communicating the beauty and power of science as well as its social and ethical implications. This event is suitable for scientists interested in art and artists interested in science.Participants:Margaret Livingstone – Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School; author, Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing.V.S. Ramachandran – Director, the Center for Brain and Cognition, UC-San Diego; author, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers.David Freedberg – Professor of Art History; Director, Italian Academy, Columbia Univ.; author, The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Respons.eFelice Frankel – Director, Envisioning Science Project, MIT; author, Envisioning Science Project: The Design and Craft of the Science Image.Barbara Tversky – Professor of Psychology, Stanford University.Eric Heller – Professor of Physics and Chemistry, Harvard University.Suzanne Anker – Chair, Department of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts; co-author, The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic AgeDevorah Sperber – Visual Artist.Torsten Wiesel – President Emeritus, Rockefeller University and Nobel Laureate.Nell Breyer – Visual Artist, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MITCo-organized by Science & the Arts and the New York Academy of Sciences. Supported in part by the David Schwarz Family and the National Science Foundation.6370 – Saturday, November 5, 2005 10am-6pm. Registration and further event information at

Magic and Comedy about Science


Idea Café – Crossing Disciplines

Do you have an idea that you have been thinking about, something that you really want to share with others? Here is your chance to have your ideas engaged with others. Or just come to hear what others are thinking. In the tradition of great intellectual programming at The Graduate Center, CUNY, we invite you to join faculty and students in our Idea Café. Each week will have a theme. You will have a chance to sign up for your short presentation and then be joined by all others in dialogue. Beverages and light food will be available for purchase from the Café.

— We welcome people from outside CUNY, but we will give first priority to CUNY-associated speakers.

— We welcome any kind of presentation on that evening’s topic, limited to 5 minutes.

Do you wish to speak? Please download the form here. Fill out the form and return it to

6371 – Monday, November 7, 2005 7PM FREE

Big Bang: The Origins of the Universe

SimonSingh_s A talk by Simon SinghSingh, the Cambridge-educated physicist and author of the international best-seller Fermat’s Enigma, has an uncommon talent for explaining difficult science to the layman. In his new book Big Bang he leads readers on a journey back into history and out into the cosmos as he explains how scientists arrived at the remarkable theory of the universe and why it is almost certainly correct.6583 – Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005 7PM FREE

Perpetual Motion: Revolutions in 17th Century Science and Music


Dava Sobel and Galileo’s Daughters

A performance featuring award-winning science writer Dava Sobel and the early music ensemble, Galileo’s Daughters (Sarah Pillow, soprano; Mary Anne Ballard, viola da gamba). With Ronn McFarlane, lute (as Vincenzo Galilei). Dava Sobel will weave stories of science history with the music of the period.

Dava Sobel, author, Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and The Planets.

6373 – Monday, November 28, 2005 6PM FREE

Spring 2005 Events


Einstein Lecture Series

An Overview of the Life of Einstein and his Impact
Monday, February 14, 6:00 PM
Einstein and Freud: A Discourse Concerning Two New Sciences
Monday, March 7, 6:00 PM
How to Think Like Einstein
Monday, March 28, 6:00 PM
Einstein, Surveillance and Social Activism
Monday, April 11, 6:00 PM
Einstein’s Vision of Space, Time and Parallel Universes
Monday, May 9, 6:00 PM

Science to a Samba Beat


Nobel Laureate chemist Roald Hoffmann and the dancers and drummers of Samba New York! celebrate Carnaval in Rio.

6373 – Monday, November 28, 2005 6PM FREE

Einstein Simplified: Cartoons on Science

science cartoon_s_resize

Illustrated lecture by Sidney Harris

Celebrate Einstein’s Birthday


Two of His Associates Reminisce
Frederick Seitz, Former President of the Rockefeller University and Colleague of Einstein at Princeton, and William T Golden, Architect of U.S. science policy, the National Science Foundation and the President’s Science Advisory Committee.

Einstein’s Greatest Blunder: A Cosmic Mystery Story


Lecture by Lawrence M Krauss, Chair, Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Author of The Physics of Star Trek (BasicBooks)

I Spy Walter Wick


Walter Wick, co-author of the best-selling I Spy and author of Can You See What I See?, has been entertaining and engaging children for years with his photographs and books. In this interactive slide show, he will offer a behind-the scenes look at the games, puzzles, science, and illusions that have made his books such a phenomenal success.
Monday, March 28, 2005 6 PM
Room 4102.
Free and appropriate for families.

Staged Readings of 2 One-Act Plays about Einstein
Mass, by playwright Lauren Gunderson; Performed by Break A Leg Productions

lauren2 Synopsis: A one-woman show about Einstein’s daughter Lieserl. It’s a really beautiful piece that uses the ideas in special relativity and Brownian motion and even some early quantum mechanics to describe Lieserl’s journey to find and recognize her father. It’s not harsh, but is really tender and… well kind of sad.Monday, April 18, 2005 6 PM
Elebash Recital Hall. Free.

The Day Einstein Died, by playwright J. B. Edwards; Performed by Third Avenue Productions

jbedwardssmaller2 Synopsis: The play is set on April 18, 1955, the day Albert Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey. The “day” is really the telescoped highlights of his final years. His long time friend and intimate, Johanna Fantova is at his side throughout the play talking to him with the gentleness and warmth that every man wants from a woman. With her we see the emotional life and the personal doubts and troubles of this famous public man. The other character in this play is the great actor and social activist Paul Robeson. He gives fire to the story as he engages his friend Einstein in several of the controversies in which he played so prominent a role, particularly the fight for equality of black people in this country and the settlement of the displaced Jews of Europe. Einstein and Robeson, although from entirely different worlds, share a passion for music and social justice. Set fifty years ago, we see that the world affairs that Einstein and Robeson struggled with are exactly mirrored in present day events.Monday, April 18, 2005 6 PM
Elebash Recital Hall. Free.

A Celebration of the American Physicist Richard Feynman: The Best Mind Since Einstein

Feynman_s Panel Discussion: Views of Richard Feynman
Moderator: Dorian Devins, host of the WFMU radio program The Speakeasy
Freeman Dyson, Physicist, Princeton University, Colleague of Feynman
Arthur Giron, Playwright, Author of the Play Moving Bodies
Phil Platzman, Physicist, Lucent Technologies, Graduate Student of Feynman
Corey S. Powell, Senior Editor, Discover Magazine
Staged reading of the full length play Moving Bodies by playwright Arthur Giron.
The play dramatizes the biography of Richard Feynman, considered one of the greatest scientific minds (second to Einstein) of the twentieth century.
Performed by Break A Leg Productions
“Sex and science don’t mix. At least, that’s what young Richard Feynman’s dad keeps telling him. But this is just one of the many theories that the Nobel Prize-winning physicist–who once kept a topless bar from being closed down by claiming that he scribbled equations at one of the back tables–ends up disproving…and just one of the many topics of debate at “Feynman University,” centered around the Rockland County dinner table where the family discusses (with equal zeal) anti-Semitism and two-piece bathing suits, puberty, and the morality of the Manhattan Project.”
from Theater Mania review by Kathryn Walat.Monday, May 2, 2005 Panel 4:30-5:30 PM, Reading 6 PM
Elebash Recital Hall. Free.

Albert Einstein

einstein_albert_a9_s The year 2005 will mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis (Miracle Year) of 1905 in which he published three seminal papers which changed the nature of 20th century physics: the Special Theory of Relativity; the Theory of Brownian Motion; and the Theory of the Photoelectric Effect. (Note that Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 “for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”)Cost: $10 for each lecture, or $45 for the series of five lectures.
Phone 212-817-8215 for reservations.
All lectures will be held in Room 4102 of the CUNY Graduate Center.

An Overview of the Life of Einstein and his Impact.

Ein cov Cassidy_resize Lecture by David Cassidy, Professor of the Natural Sciences, Hofstra University, NY
Author of Einstein and Our World (Prometheus Books).
Monday, February 4, 2005 6 PM

Einstein and Freud: A Discourse Concerning Two New Sciences

Panek_s Lecture by Richard Panek, author and columnist for Natural History Magazine
Author of The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud and the Search for Hidden Variables (Viking Books)
Monday, March 7, 2005 6 PM

How to Think Like Einstein

Ein cov Kincheloe_resize Lecture by Joe L. Kincheloe, Professor of Education, The Graduate Center
Co-author with Shirley R. Steinberg and Deborah J. Tippins of The Stigma of Genius: Einstein, Consciousness, and Education (Peter Lang Publishing).
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 6 PM

Einstein, Surveillance and Social Activism

Ein cov Jerome_resize Lecture by Fred Jerome, Consultant, Gene Media Forum and founder, Media Resource Center
Author of The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret War Against the World’s Most Famous Scientist (St. Martin’s Press) and Einstein On Race
Monday, April 11, 2005 6 PM

Einstein’s Vision of Space, Time and Parallel Universe

Ein cov Kaku_resize Lecture by Michio Kaku, Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics, City College of New York
Author of Einstein’s Cosmos: How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time (W. W. Norton & Co) and Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension (Anchor Press).
Monday, May 9, 2005 6 PM

Fall 2004 Events

The History of Science and Magic: A Golden Age Symposium

bob Historical perspectives on science, magic and theatre in New York City.
Monday, September 27, 2004 7 PM

Music and Media: Three Evenings

special_events_gondry Media innovators present and discuss their work.
Thursday, September 23, 2004 7PM
Laurie Anderson & Greil Marcus
Thursday, September 30, 2004 7 pm
Michel Gondry & Ed HalterThursday, October 7, 2004 7 pm
Brian Eno & Todd Haynes

Wide World

lauren_resize Play about the meeting of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander von Humboldt.
Thursday, October 14, 2004 6:45 PM


humbo.JPG Choral and instrumental music inspired by Humboldt.
Sunday, October 17, 2004 3 PM

Possible Worlds: mathematics, physics and playwriting

briangreene Conversation between John Mighton, mathematician and playwright and Brian Greene, physicist/mathematician. Moderated by ABCNews correspondent Robert Krulwich. Co-sponsored by The Canadian Consulate General, New York. Monday, October 18, 2004 6 PM


haber Opera about the astonishing life of chemist Fritz Haber.Monday, December 13, 2004 6 PM

Spring 2004 Events

The Water City: A Public Art Project in Mexico City

Agua Illustrated lecture by Bernd Scherer. Bildner Center at the Graduate Center of CUNY.Wednesday, January 21, 2004 6 PM

Radio Science Friday

sciart2 Live radio broadcast.Friday, January 23, 2004 2-4 PM

Science Vaudeville

conraddan Juggling, music, conjuring and more, with a science subtext. Monday, March 1, 2004 6 PM

Women and the Machine

sciart3 Illustrated lecture by Dr. Julie Wosk. Dr. Wosk’s homepageMonday, March 15, 2004 5 PM

The Doctor’s Dilemma

sciart4 Scenes from the play by George Bernard Shaw and a panel discussion on medical ethics.Tuesday, March 30, 2004 6 PM

The Physicists

newton_isaac_a3 ‘Einstein’ meets ‘Newton’ in an asylum in this comedy. A staged reading by Break A Leg Productions. Commentary on the play
1995 review of the playMonday, April 19, 2004 6 PM


sciart5 Reading of a drama about math genius S. Ramanujan. Review from Notices of the AMS.Monday, May 17, 2004 6 PM

Fall 2003 Events

Galileo: The Emotional Life of a Spacecraft

galileo For fourteen years the Galileo spacecraft has been our eyes and ears in its travels through our solar system, unraveling the mystery of Jupiter and its many satellites. On September 21, 2003 the craft will fly directly into the planet and be destroyed. Join us for a concert of rock, folk, and funk music, provided by Redshift Productions, in celebration of the life and successes of the Galileo spacecraft.Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series and by the Martin E. Segal Theatre CenterWednesday, September 17, 2003 6 PM and 8 PM

Science as Theater – Theater as Science

lustig Dr. Harry Lustig is professor of physics emeritus and provost emeritus at the City College of the City University of New York, Treasurer Emeritus of the American Physical Society, and Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico. Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Ph.D. Program in Theatre.Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series and by the Martin E. Segal Theatre CenterMonday, October 20, 2003 6 PM

Feynman Lives!

feynman03 Who won the Nobel Prize, kept people awake by playing bongo drums at Los Alamos and wrote a best-seller? No one but the brilliant and irrepressible physicist Richard Feynman. Film and television actor Norman Parker will perform a solo tribute, delivering Feynman’s wit and wisdom in his own words. No Feynman evening is complete without bongos — we also present Tom Rutishauser and Ralph Leighton. Mr. Rutishauser, a cellist, played bongos with Feynman and taught Alan Alda to play bongos for his role as Feynman in the play QED. Ralph Leighton (and Feynman) co-authored the bestseller Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman. Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series and by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. Monday, October 27, 2003 6 PM

horovitz On the brink of a revolutionary discovery, a liberal biologist must choose between altruism and financial success. This staged reading of award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz’s will star Bob Dishy, Novella Nelson, Douglas Simmons, and Mary McCormack, directed by Michael Morris. An audience talk-back with the author, director, and cast will immediately follow the reading. Please call for reservations: 212 817-8215 This production is presented courtesy of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project. Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series and by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Monday, November 3, 2003 7 PM

Look Up! “Chaos” comes to New York

cruchfield CUNY joins forces with Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) for an evening of fascinating talk, music and images by physicist James Crutchfield and David Dunn, composer and audio engineer. Together they spearhead The Theatre of Pattern Formation project, a visual and auditory articulation of Chaos Theory, designed for the LodeStar Astronomy Center in Santa Fe, NM and for planetariums everywhere.Monday, December 1, 2003 6 PM

Pierre and Marie: Love and Chemistry

curies In a small laboratory in Paris in the 1890s, Pierre and Marie Curie discover uranium, radium and love. Pierre and Marie, adapted by Ron Clark from the original French play by Jean-Noel Fenwick, is equal parts science, history and riotously charming comedy. Join us for a reading by Break A Leg Productions. Cosponsored by the Science and the Arts series and by the Martin E. Segal Theatre CenterMonday, December 8, 2003 6 PM

Spring 2003 Events

Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of DNA

The Science and the Arts series will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA by Francis Crick and James Watson. The celebration will include the opening of an exhibition of art related to DNA, in the Graduate Center’s Art Gallery in late February 2003. There will be three additional public events featuring theater, art, dance and music.February 26 – April 5, 2003

Genomic Issue(s): Art and Science

crockett Growing public awareness of genomic issues has been accompanied by fascination, excitement, confusion, and skepticism. Genomic Issue(s) features the works of artists who are exploring the rapidly changing genetic landscape of the twenty-first century. In an age of increasing specialization and complexity, artists play an important role in expanding public dialog by creating images that help to demystify and interpret the language, images, business, and implications of genomic science. The works on display raise questions about the relationships between art, science and society, and suggest a broad range of issues to be navigated ¬â¬€ˆ£ economic, legal, ethical, intellectual, and spiritual ¬â¬€ˆ£ in the rapidly expanding field of genomic research.
Marvin Heiferman and Karen Sinsheimer, Curators
Genomic Issue(s): Art and Science is based on the exhibition, photoGENEsis: Opus 20, curated by Karen Sinsheimer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 2002-3. Genomic Issue(s): Art and Science is funded, in part, by a grant from JGS. Inc., a not-for-profit foundation.
February 26 – April 5, 2003
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 PM

Thread of Life

Thread of Life is a riveting new play about the role of Rosalind Franklin in the discovery of the structure of DNA. Written by Rita Nachtmann. Performed by Break-A-Leg Productions. Courtesy of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Project.
Co-sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Science Center.
Monday, March 10, 2003, 6 PM

Graphic Science:New Ways of Taking Science to the People Frank Burnet, University of West England, UK

Frank Burnet is the Director of Graphic Science, a portfolio of innovative projects designed to take science to targeted audiences. He has also played a leading role promoting the discussion of the key issues facing individuals and organizations that undertake Science Communication activities, both within the United Kingdom and internationally. Co-sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Science Center. Tuesday, March 11, 2003 5 PM

Artist Discussion:Genomic Issue(s)

The Genomic Issue(s) exhibition addresses some of the most urgent questions of our times. Are engineered identities and medical therapies a threat or a hope? Join artists Helen Donis-Keller, Steve Miller, and Eva Sutton, and Adam Bly, Editor-in-Chief of Seed magazine, for a discussion of the artwork and a lively dialog with the audience. The panel will be moderated by Michael Rush, Director of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art. Co-sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Science Center. Friday, March 14, 2003 6 PM


Dance, Music and DNA an evening of performance

pennington Discover DNA-inspired dance and music. Dancer/choreographer John Pennington, Pomona College, CA, will perform a piece he composed in collaboration with a molecular biologist and an artist. The Patrick Grant Group will perform a musical suite from GENOME: The Autobiography of a Species in Twenty-Three Movements. Lori Belilove & Company, resident troupe of The Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, will present a new work, commissioned for this event. Co-sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Science Center. Friday, March 28, 2003 6 PM

Science and Theater: Remembering Miss Meitner and Background
new one-act dramas

200 Join us for a performance of two new one-act dramas about the pioneers of physics. Robert Marc Friedman’s “Remembering Miss Meitner” takes as its subject the role of Lise Meitner in the splitting of the atomic nucleus. Lauren Gunderson’s “Background” is a dramatization of the story of cosmologist Ralph Alpher and the origins of the universe. Both plays will be performed by Break-A-Leg Productions. Co-sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and the Science Center. Monday, May 19, 2003 6 PM

Fall 2002 Events

Science and the Arts-Theater EINSTEIN’S DREAMS: SOLD OUT

einsteins Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue
World Premiere of a Concert Reading of an Original Musical Play “Einstein’s Dreams”; Based on the novel Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman; Book and lyricist, Joanne Sydney Lessner; Composer and co-lyricist, Joshua Rosenblum Produced by Brian Schwartz, Associate producer, Linda Merman Sponsored by the Science Center and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. An “Open Dress Rehearsal” at 3 PM in the same venue and date. For tickets contact (212) 817-8215.
The ground-breaking writing and composing team of Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum have created an original musical adaptation of Alan Lightman’s captivating and enchanting novel Einstein’s Dreams. Lightman’s novel caused a literary sensation when it was published in 1994, with one critic calling it “a brilliant novel of time in its marvelous flight. . . gorgeous in its writing, spellbinding and profound in its effects.” Lessner and Rosenblum, the authors of the cult hit musical Fermat’s Last Tango, weave Lightman’s ingenious fantasy vignettes about the nature of time into an infectious musical tapestry that revolves around Einstein himself and a compelling, elusive, beautiful woman who haunts his dreams. This provocative but lighthearted new work of musical theater is guaranteed to stimulate, move and entertain. No physics background required.
Monday, October 7, 2002 6 PM

ArtSci2002: New Dimensions in Collaborations

artsci Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History and Continuing Education & Public Programs at the Graduate Center
In this 4th international art-sci symposium, organized by ASCI, we will continue to highlight exemplary models of art-sci collaboration while providing an open forum for dialogue about current artscience practice and interdisciplinary collaboration in general. We anticipate there will be projects about art-in-space or even particle physics, as well as those that explore the body’s inner workings via MRI, scanning electron microscopy, and other imaging devices. We also hope to showcase new models of interdisciplinary art-sci curriculum. Registration required. See for more information
Friday- Sunday, December 6 – 8, 2002

Spring 2002 Events: Science & Theater

Science Vaudeville An Original Science Revue

cyber1 All too often science is viewed as a serious subject with little humor and fun and reserved for the laboratory and the nerds. In this original production, a group of scientists and performers present an original vaudeville flavored evening of science, song, humor, legerdemain and entertainment. The cast includes The Physics Chanteuse Lynda Williams, the science comedian Brian Mallow, the philosopher magician Bob Friedhoffer and the Techno-tainer Joe Gizmo. Directed by Kurt Tarroff and produced by Brian Schwartz.Monday, March 4, 2002 6-7:30 PM

SCHRöDINGER’S GIRLFRIEND: A Staged Reading Written by Matthew Wells

schrod Schrödinger’s Girlfriend is best described as “Einstein meets ‘The Blue Angel.” Peppered with cabaret songs, vaudevillian comedy, and stirring moments of passion and epiphany, Schrödinger’s Girlfriend is an Orton-esque romantic comedy about love, sex, and quantum physics. In 1926 the physicist Erwin Schrõdinger proposed the famous non-relativistic Schrödinger equation and recognized soon thereafter that it was equivalent to Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics formulation for what is now known as quantum mechanics. The play follows the odd, erotic, symbiotic relationship between Erwin Schrödinger, a physicist, and Hansi Haas, a cabaret star whose thirst for knowledge is insatiable.Monday, April 22, 2002 6-7:30 PM

OXYGEN: A Staged Reading by Break-A-Leg Productions

oxactors At the beginning of the 21st century, the Nobel Committee for Chemistry is meeting to discuss the awarding of the first “retro” Nobel Prize as a way of marking the centenary of the first Nobel Prize in 1901. After some discussion, the committee decides to investigate the claims of three chemists, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier, and Carl Wilhelm Scheele associated with the discovery of Oxygen. Oxygen has a relatively simple plot. The play shifts between the 18th-century characters, their process of science, politics and ambitions, and the Nobel committee’s 21st century sensibilities as they argue about which of these men should be awarded the first “retro” Nobel Prize for chemistry. Oxygen is the fruit of a unique collaboration between two world-renowned chemists who are also prolific authors, Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann and Carl Djerassi, developer of the oral contraceptive pill.Monday, May 20, 2002 6-7:30 PM

Delmos Jones Lecture Why Einstein Would Love Spaghetti in Fundamental Physics

gates Sylvester James Gates, Jr.
John S. Toll Professor of Physics
Professor Gates is a prominent scholar in theoretical physics, an educator and an entrepreneurial leader. His important research is in an area called string or superstring theory, also known as the Theory of Everything. This theory uses complex mathematical descriptions to explain how gravity and other natural forces are connected and it may one day allow scientists to understand a unified theory of all forces.
Thursday, April 4, 2002 6 PM

Fall 2001 Events

Science and Dance: The Physics of Ballet

dance1 There is a scientific basis to most art forms. Much of science is invisible, mathematical, and abstract. But a dancer’s movements bring to life concepts of physics that are easily understood and deepen one’s appreciation of the art form. In this presentation, professional ballet dancers will demonstrate some analyzable movements including illusions in which physical laws appear to be violated. How can a dancer leap into the air and then start turning, or appear to float horizontally in a leap? How does a toppling dancer regain balance if the only source of force is the floor? Aspects of the art of dance will be illuminated by straightforward applications of the science of physics.Monday, October 1, 2001, 6-7:30 PM

Science and the Art of Fractals: Appealing to the Senses of Sight and Sound

voss The natural world has long been an inspiration and model of beauty to artists, writers and musicians. Mathematics and science, on the other hand, can sometimes be viewed as cold, dry and uninteresting. In the mathematics of fractal geometry and the science of chaos, however, we now have a rich new language for capturing, illuminating and simulating nature. This lecture will illustrate the deceptively simple and creative power of fractals and chaos through computer-generated images, animation, sounds and music. Examples of practical applications of fractals to economics, the genetic code, early Chinese landscape paintings and the reading of x-rays will be presented. We can now build mountains and clouds from mathematics (as seen in Hollywood films) and generate music from the stock market. Both will be demonstrated.Monday, November 5, 2001, 6-7:30 PM

Science and Theater: Fermat’s Last Tango: The Musical

fermat Mathematics takes to the stage with excerpts from the very successful, highly acclaimed recent off-Broadway production of Fermat’s Last Tango. This comical musical was inspired by the story of Princeton professor Andrew Wiles’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem (also the subject of the PBS film The Proof and Simon Singh’s book, Fermat’s Enigma). Fermat’s Last Tango tells the story of Professor Daniel Keane, who discovers a proof which the great mathematician Fermat couldn’t possibly have developed 350 years ago, finds a flaw in the proof, and then fixes it under the watchful eye of Fermat and other great mathematicians.Monday, December 3, 2001, 6-7:30pm

The Resilient Horseshoe Crab: Guardian of Time

briannissen A combined Americas Center on Science and Society (ACSS) exhibition and multidisciplinary celebration of this Living Fossil with sculptor/artist Brian Nissen. The exhibition will consist of three overlapping areas: art, science and society. Panelists include: Dr. Sylvia A. Earle (Scientific Explorer, National Geographic Society); Brian Nissen (Artist); John Tanacredi (Professor of Marine Ecology, Dowling College and ACSS/IACERE Scientist); Mary Ann Caws (Professor of Art History, CUNY Graduate Center); Richard Chappell, Janis Roze and Martin Schreibman (Professors of Ecology-Biology, CUNY Graduate Center); William Kornblum (Professor of Human Ecology, CUNY Graduate Center); Paul Stoutenburgh (Naturalist and Educator).Monday, December 4, 2001, 4:30-6:30 PM