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9 Questions for Lisa Randall

The Harvard physicist on Galileo, Neil Gorsuch, and checking email.

Javier Zarracina

This week, Lisa Randall — professor of theoretical physics at Harvard University and the author of Dark Matter and the Dinosaursanswers our questions.

What’s the first piece of media you consume every day?

Often it's what Twitter directs me to. Which means British publications if I wake up too early.

Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read.

I read the New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane. Don't always agree with his opinions on movies but he's always deadly funny.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?

I'm guessing Galileo but that's because he was a key driver of the scientific method.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

Now. I decided to do this interview after thinking I wouldn't.

A few days ago when I realized just how bad a human being Neil Gorsuch is.

And today when I realized the merit of an idea about currency I had rejected.

And when I realized I had thought about gas fragmenting into stars incorrectly.

What’s your worst intellectual habit?

Checking email when I don't know an answer.

What inspires you to learn?


What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?

That I will make progress. On something.

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?

That I will make progress. On something.

What book have you recommended the most?

Probably The Power Broker. Mostly because it explains why I had such an awful commute to Stuyvesant.

You can read last week’s edition of 9 questions with Tyler Cowen here.