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Tue, 10 Mar


Small Lecture Theatre

Creating Your Own Universe: From Physics to Journalism

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 Creating Your Own Universe: From Physics to Journalism
 Creating Your Own Universe: From Physics to Journalism

Time & Location

10 Mar 2020, 13:00 – 14:00

Small Lecture Theatre, Cavendish Laboratory, 19 JJ Thomson Ave, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK

About the Event

About the Speaker:

Dr. Zeeya Merali is a freelance science writer and author whose work has appeared in Scientific American, Nature, New Scientist, Discover, and on the BBC. She has published two textbooks in collaboration with National Geographic. Her documentary, “Aperture Fever,” about amateur astronomy, was broadcast on The History Channel, UK. She also worked on the NOVA television series “The Fabric of the Cosmos”. Merali received a first-class degree and Master’s in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in cosmology from Brown University. “A Big Bang in a Little Room,” is her first popular physics book. More details at


My book, A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes (Basic Books, 2017), discusses how it may one day be possible for humans to make their own "baby universe" in the lab — a DIY cosmos complete with (possibly) its own stars, planets and people. The book is based on extensive interviews that I carried out with physicists located around the globe. Some of their speculative ideas have fed directly into the blueprints of this "little bang theory", while others form the basis of related theories about the origins of space and time, and the possibility that our cosmos is one of many in a multiverse of parallel universes. In this talk, I will discuss what drives these diverse personalities — including a KGB-blacklisted physicist who published science papers while working as a zookeeper, a cosmologist who once investigated telepathy, a scientist who sees resonances between his Buddhist meditation practices and the origins of space, time and consciousness, and an Evangelical Christian physicist who has developed a theological framework of parallel universes. I'll also talk about my own path from studying physics at the Cavendish as a Cambridge undergraduate, through a PhD in theoretical cosmology, to switching careers and becoming a science journalist, working with Scientific American, Nature, New Scientist, the BBC and more.

Accessibility Statement:

There is wheelchair access. There is padded seating, an accessible toilet, and a hearing loop. There is general car parking, and blue badge parking by request in advance. There isn't a bsl interpreter, or a designated quiet space.

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