Science Writer and Commentator Margaret Wertheim
to Speak at Middlebury College on Dec. 1-2
noted science writer and commentator, Margaret Wertheim will give
two talks at Middlebury College in December. On Tuesday, Dec.
1 at 8 p.m. she will speak on “Space and Spirit” in
Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). At
4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, Wertheim will give a talk titled
“Physics, Faith, and Feminism” in the library of the
Geonomics Center on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125).
Both talks are free and open to the public.
Wertheim’s first talk, “Space
and Spirit,” will be based on her new book, Pearly Gates
of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet,
which will be published in April 1999 by W.W. Norton. In this
talk, Wertheim will trace the evolution of our thinking about
space from the Middle Ages to today. According to Wertheim, “The
contemporary development of cyberspace returns us to an almost
medieval position for once again we have a physical space described
by science, and a non-physical space that many people are hoping
will be a new kind of spiritual space.”
Her second talk, “Physics, Faith,
and Feminism,” will be based on her previous book Pythagoras’
Trousers: God, Physics, and the Gender Wars (W.W. Norton).
Wertheim will explore the historical and cultural underpinnings
of women’s under-representation in science, particularly the science
of physics. Notably, she will consider the ways in which science
has been a kind of priestly pursuit. She will put forward a thesis
that women’s struggle to break into science has historically paralleled
their struggle to break into the clergy. Here, physics may be
seen as the Catholic Church of science. Wertheim will explore
her thesis about the quasi-religious underpinnings of physics
both historically and today. She will conclude with suggestions
about ways to move forward in the future.
Wertheim has written extensively about
science and society for magazines, television, and radio. Her
articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The
New York Times, Omni, and Science Digest. Wertheim has written
10 television documentaries, including the award-winning series,
“Catalyst,” which explored science and technology aimed
at teenagers. She was also the writer and host of “Faith
and Reason,” a PBS documentary special about science and
religion, which aired nationally in the U.S. in September 1998.
She has appeared frequently on television and radio in the U.S.,
Australia, and Europe.
Wertheim has two undergraduate science
degrees-in physics, and in mathematics and computing.
Both lectures are free and open to
the public. For more information, contact Mary Duffy, women’s
studies administrator, at 802-443-5937.
Schedule of Events:
Tuesday, Dec. 1
8 p.m. Lecture: “Space
and Spirit,” Margaret Wertheim, internationally noted science
writer and commentator, at Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road off College
Street (Route 125).
Wednesday, Dec. 2
4:30 p.m. Lecture: “Physics,
Faith, and Feminism,” Margaret Wertheim, internationally
noted science writer and commentator, in the library of the Geonomics
Center on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125).