Joel Primack, professor of physics at UCSC, and his wife Nancy Abrams gave a series of four public lectures at Yale University in October, and videos of those talks are now available on YouTube. Links to the videos are available on the Yale University web site.
Primack and Abrams gave the multimedia lectures during this year's Dwight H. Terry Lectureship at Yale. Titled "Cosmic Society: The New Universe and the Human Future," the lectures presented the emerging scientific understanding of the universe and our human place in it. Primack and Abrams illustrated their talks with remarkable astronomical images and videos, including cutting-edge visualizations of computer simulations depicting cosmological history from before the Big Bang to the present day.
Abrams and Primack are co-authors of The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos, and have co-taught a popular course called "Cosmology and Culture" at UCSC for more than a decade.
Primack is one of the creators of the modern picture of the universe. He specializes in the formation and evolution of galaxies and the nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the mass in the universe. He is currently using supercomputers to simulate and visualize the evolution of the universe under various assumptions.
Nancy Ellen Abrams is an attorney and philosopher of science who has long been interested in the role of science in shaping politics and has worked in this area for the Ford Foundation and U.S. Congress's Office of Technology Assessment. She has coauthored articles with Primack on quantum cosmology and Kabbalah, as well as numerous articles on science policy, space policy, and cultural implications of modern cosmology.
The Dwight H. Terry Lectureship, established in 1905, invites distinguished scholars to address issues concerning the ways in which scientific knowledge and philosophical insight inform religion and religion's application to human welfare. Past Terry lecturers have included Carl Jung, Margaret Mead, Rebecca West, Marilynne Robinson and Terry Eagleton.