Jamie Hale

Jamie Hale

Friday, August 21, 2009

Interview with John Horgan

by Jamie Hale

JOHN HORGAN is a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. He’s a former senior writer at Scientific American, author of several books and columnist for BBC’s Knowledge Magazine. He is not a big fan of Superstring Theory in fact he says…………

How many books have you written? Could you give readers a brief summary of each?

The End of Science: All the big discoveries have been made. We're down to details and applications now. The Undiscovered Mind. If there are any big discoveries to come, they'll emerge from the study of the brain and mind. But based on science's lousy track record so far, don't hold your breath for big breakthroughs. Rational Mysticism: There is only one common insight from science and mysticism: You are really, really lucky to be alive.

The title of one of your books is Where Was God on September 11th. It seems that the title would appear a little controversial to some. Did it cause much of an uproar? How much hate mail did you get?

Some hard-core Christians got mad at me, but they god even madder at my co-author, Frank, an Episcopal priest.

Do you have any suggestions for enhancing the general publics knowledge of popular science?

Yeah, buy my books.

Who is your favorite writer?

Jorge Luis Borges, the metaphysical fabulist.

Favorite book? Favorite Magazine?

Labyrinths, by Borges. New Yorker still kicks ass.

On what terms can religion and science live in harmony?

See above. And that isn’t enough for most folks. I'm hoping religion will just fade gracefully away.

You have a $1000 bet with Michio Kaku that Superstring Theory won't pan out by 2020. Why do you feel so strongly about this?

Because string theory is pseudo-science.

Do you any projects you are currently working on?

I'm writing a lot about how science can solve the problem of war.

If you had to rate the top three scientists off all times who would they be?

The greatest I've met personally are Francis Crick, Hans Bethe and John Wheeler. Great scientists, great characters. I profile them all in my first book, The End of Science.

Visit John Horgan’s website @ http://johnhorgan.org/

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