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Lisa Randall      

Award-Winning Physicist & Author

Lisa Randall, Ph.D. is Professor of Physics at Harvard University, whose studies have made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists. She was named one of the "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century" in 2008 by Esquire Magazine, one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World," by Time in 2007, one of 40 people featured in The Rolling Stone "40th Anniversary Issue", featured in Newsweek's "Who's Next in 2006" as "one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation" and in Seed Magazine's "2005 Year in Science Icons".

A sought-after keynote speaker, Randall is a regular participant in TED, has given a Guggenheim presentation, and spoken at the Whitney Museum debate, the Rubin Museum, the 92nd St Y, as well as at science museums, such as the Museum of Natural History, the Boston Museum of Science, and the Smithsonian. She has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances.

Her book Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (Ecco) was a New York Times 100 notable book of 2005. Her latest book is Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World (Ecco).

Randall has received numerous awards and honors for her scientific endeavors. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was a fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a past winner of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, and the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. In 2003, she received the Premio Caterina Tomassoni e Felice Pietro Chisesi Award, from the University of Rome, La Sapienza. In 2006, she received the Klopsteg Award from the American Society of Physics Teachers (AAPT) for her lectures and in 2007 she received the Julius Lilienfeld Prize from the American Physical Society for her work on elementary particle physics and cosmology and for communicating this work to the public. Randall's work has been featured in Time magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, The Economist, New Scientist, Science, Nature, and elsewhere. Fellow scientists have cited her research more often than that of any other theoretical high-energy physicist in recent years, and she was the first tenured woman in the Princeton physics department and the first tenured woman theorist at M.I.T. and Harvard.

In Knocking on Heaven's Door, Randall explores the latest developments in physics that have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. An expert on both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects of which we know) and cosmology (the study of the largest), she shows how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them; she examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields (such as the chef David Chang, the forecaster Nate Silver, and the screenwriter Scott Derrickson); and she explains with wit and clarity the latest ideas in physics and cosmology, including the aims of the biggest and most expensive machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous collider below the border of France and Switzerland. Nearly 27 kilometers in circumference, it has within it both the hottest spot in the galaxy and the coldest and features the most powerful supercomputer system in the world.

Randall has also recently pursued art-science connections, writing a libretto for Hypermusic: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes that premiered in the Pompidou Center in Paris and co-curating an art exhibit Measure for Measure for the Los Angeles Arts Association. Randall earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University and held professorships at MIT and Princeton University before returning to Harvard in 2001.

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