Apr 11, 2024, 4:30 pm5:30 pm
McCosh 50


Event Description

We are pleased to announce the 2024 Anthony B. Evnin Lecture.

Join us for an absorbing keynote where Janna Levin will speak on ideas from black holes, to creativity, to the union of art and science, and show the audience just how far our understanding of the universe has come—and where it’s headed. 

Janna Levin is changing the way we understand the cosmos. She brings originality, lucidity, and even poetry, to one of humanity’s oldest sciences. In her new book Black Hole Survival Guide, she takes readers on a thrilling and evocative tour through space, showing us the remarkable influence of black holes along the way. On stage, Levin expands on her mind-bending, yet concrete, ideas: from black holes, to creativity, to the union of art and science, she shows audiences just how far science has come—and where it’s headed.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. You may choose to attend in person at Princeton or virtually on a Zoom webinar. 

Register here for the in-person eventThe first 40 Princeton students to register and attend the lecture in person will receive a signed copy of Janna Levin's book Black Hole Survival Guide.

Register here for the Zoom webinarCART Closed Captioning will be provided for our zoom webinar.

Janna Levin is a gifted author, cosmologist, and Guggenheim Fellow whose latest book, Black Hole Survival Guide, offers a glimpse into “one of the oddest and most intriguing topics in astrophysics”(Kirkus Reviews). Accompanied by original artwork from painter and photographer Lia Halloran, the book is at once authoritative and accessible—allowing scientists and non-scientists alike to better understand the wonder of the cosmos. Levin writes with a striking, intelligent prose about everything from relativity and quantum mechanics, to the solar system and the Milky Way. Her earlier book Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, which was named one of Kirkus’ best non-fiction books of 2016, provided a fascinating history of the Nobel-Prize winning pursuit to detect gravitational waves: the holy grail of modern cosmology, otherwise known as the soundtrack of the universe. “If what we witnessed before was a silent movie, Levin says, “gravitational waves turn our universe into a talkie.” Intelligent, illuminating, and wildly entertaining, Levin’s talks are a brilliant introduction to cosmic phenomena that shapes our universe.

Her debut book, How the Universe Got Its Spots, fused geometry, topology, chaos and string theory to show how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the big bang may one day help reveal the true size and shape of the universe. Her next book, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, bridged fiction and nonfiction to tell a strange story of coded secrets, psychotic delusions, mathematical truth, and age-old lies. Most recently she hosted Black Hole Apocalypse, for a special episode of PBS’s Nova—the first female presenter of a Nova show in 35 years.

Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her scientific research concerns the early universe, chaos and black holes. Her book A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers which “honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work … represents distinguished literary achievement.” It was also a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award for “a distinguished book of first fiction.”

Levin lives at the cusp of Science & Art. She is the Founding Director of Sciences at the influential cultural center Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. She also founded the Science & Art magazine, Pioneer Works Broadcast, for which she serves as Editor-in-Chief.

She has worked at the Center for Particle Astrophysics (CfPA) at UC Berkeley, the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at Cambridge University and the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford University, where she won an award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and Arts. Levin holds a BA in Physics and Astronomy from Barnard College with a concentration in Philosophy, and a PhD from MIT in Physics. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2012.

McCosh 50 is accessible on all levels View accessible paths and entrances on the Transportation and Parking Services map. To request accommodations for a disability, please contact [email protected] at least one week before the event.

Open to the Public