Alan Lightman is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why you should listen

Alan Lightman is the author of five novels, several collections of essays, a book-length narrative poem, a memoir and several books on science. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's, the New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and Salon, among other publications. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Sciences and has won numerous other awards. Lightman is also the founding director of the Harpswell Foundation, which works to advance a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia.

Lightman's TED Book, In Praise of Wasting Time, was published in 2018. 

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