Meeting Information

Brilliant Blunders

March 18, 2015
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Dr. Mario LivioDate: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Speaker: Dr. Mario Livio, Space Telescope Science Institute

Topic: Brilliant Blunders

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD - off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: Even the greatest scientists have made some serious blunders. "Brilliant Blunders" concerns the evolution of life on Earth, of the Earth itself, of stars, and of the universe as a whole. In this talk, I shall concentrate on and analyze major errors committed by such luminaries as Charles Darwin, Linus Pauling, and Albert Einstein. I will also scrutinize the various types of blunders and attempt to identify their causes. Most importantly, however, I will argue that blunders are not only inevitable, but rather part and parcel of progress in science and other creative enterprises.

Biography: Dr. Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, the institute which conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope, and will conduct the scientific program of the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

He has published more than 300 scientific papers on topics ranging from Dark Energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets.

Dr Livio is also the author of five popular science books, including "The Golden Ratio" (for which he received the "Peano Prize" and the “International Pythagoras Prize") and "Is God A Mathematician?"

Livio's recent book, "Brilliant Blunders", received rave reviews, was on the Bestsellers List of the New York Times, and was selected by the Washington Post as one of the "2013 Best Books of the Year."