Science in Fiction

Thursday, April 3, 2014
5:15 - 7:15 pm
32-155 (Stata Center)


Hanya Yanagihara's first book, the widely celebrated The People In The Trees, is loosely based on the life and work of Nobel Prize-winner physician and researcher D. Carleton Gajdusek. She'll join author and physicist Alan Lightman, the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities, to discuss the unique challenges of respecting the exacting standards of science in fictional texts. Forum Co-Director Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus, will moderate.


Hanya Yanagihara is an Editor-At-Large at Conde Nast Traveler and author of The People In The Trees, a novel the New York Times called "suspenseful" and "exhaustingly inventive."

Alan Lightman is currently Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at MIT and author of the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams. His most recent novel, Mr g, was published in January 2012.

Seth Mnookin is Co-Director of the Communications Forum and Associate Director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. His most recent book is The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.


Video | Podcast | Audio



[this will be an edited summary, and not a verbatim transcript]

By Jason Martin Lipshin, CMS '14