Authors offer new view of universe

On Thursday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 19, cosmologist Joel Primack and philosopher and writer Nancy Abrams visited Geneseo to talk about their book, The View from the Center of the Universe. The visit was in conjunction with the ongoing Heavens Above project run by Milne Library.

Their book discusses topics that range from dark matter to spirituality, but primarily communicates the idea that we as humans hold a unique place in the universe and need to take our existence seriously.

During their visit, Primack and Abrams had discussions with selected science and philosophy classes. Although the discussions were short, they have offered to answer any lingering questions via e-mail.

On Thursday evening, Primack led a colloquium titled, "Restarting the Exploration of the Universe: The National Academy's Beyond Einstein Report and the Future of Space Astronomy" in Milne.

The following night, Primack and Abrams led a multimedia presentation featuring visuals designed to help the audience visualize looking upon the universe from outside of it. On Saturday, Oct. 20, a book discussion was held in Milne 104 as part of Family Day.

Librarian Liz Argentieri came up with the original idea of incorporating Primack and Abrams' book in the Heavens Above project, and they were first invited in March.

The Heavens Above project began over a year ago as a way to promote "interdisciplinary conversation," described by librarian Tracy Paradis as "a central idea that we at the library are trying to promote." Paradis described her continued success with the project, saying, "The response has been fantastic."

Upcoming events associated with the project include a presentation by Dr. Raymond Belliotti titled "The Meaning of Life," a film about the Challenger space shuttle explosion and a debate organized by the philosophy club.