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David Kaiser and Judy Dutton

How The Hippies Saved Science!
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Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 9:00pm

In the spring of 1975, a group of diverse physicists gathered in Berkeley and formed The Fundamental Fysiks Group to investigate and ponder some of the wild and wooly philosophical and metaphysical questions posed by quantum physics. They were interested in psychic phenomena, so-called Eastern Mysticism and new ways of looking at reality. What followed was a tale involving some of the leading physicists of the day as well as such controversial figures as Uri Geller and Werner Erhard founder of EST. At the legendary Esalen Institute, numerous physics seminars were held among the hot tubs, psychedelic drugs, and free love. But what came out of all this New Age craziness were some of the best-known popular books on quantum theory and, eventually, the foundation for quantum encryption. Join us on Inquiry tonight for our conversation with DAVID KAISER, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches in the Program in Science, Technology and Society. His book, which tells this whole crazy story, is titled HOW THE HIPPIES SAVED PHYSICS: SCIENCE, COUNTERCULTURE, AND THE QUANTUM REVIVAL.

Science Fairs are no longer about exploding Plaster of Paris volcanoes or mouse traps and ping-pong balls to demonstrate nuclear fission. Today’s high schoolers are now solving problems that have puzzled scientists for years and the stakes involves prize money of many thousands of dollars and an assured future career in science. For many of these current science fair participants, winning means being able to go to the college of their choice. Writer JUDY DUTTON followed twelve contestants in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and tells their amazing stories in her new book SCIENCE FAIR SEASON: TWELVE KIDS, A ROBOT NAMED SCORCH AND WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN. Tune in and learn about what these new Einsteins and Gates are up to.
 

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