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Opinion Essays by Avi Loeb   (in reverse chronological order)      Harvard logo

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*"Can the Universe Provide Us With the Meaning of Life?", Scientific American (January 21, 2019)

*"Darwinian Survival Favors Generalists", Scientific American (January 9, 2020)

*"The Simple Truth About Physics", Scientific American (January 2, 2020)

*"Surfing on a Flash of Light from an Exploding Star", Scientific American (December 26, 2019)

*"A Tale of Three Nobels", Scientific American (December 18, 2019)

*"Essential Advice for Fledgling Scientists", Scientific American (December 2, 2019)

*"What To Do When The Sun Will Get Too Hot For Earth's Survival?", Scientific American (November 25, 2019)

*"Space Archaeology", Atmos (November 8, 2019)

*"Did Life from Earth Escape the Solar System Eons Ago?", Scientific American (November 4, 2019)

*"Science is Not About Getting More Likes", Scientific American (October 8, 2019)

*"The Moon as a Fishing Net for Extraterrestrial Life", Scientific American (September 25, 2019)

*"Nothing Persists Except Change Itself", Scientific American (September 6, 2019)

*"Science as a Way of Life", Scientific American (August 14, 2019)

*"Federal Leadership of Future Moonshots", Scientific American (July 16, 2019)

*"It Takes a Village to Declassify an Error Bar", Scientific American (July 3, 2019)

*"What is the One Thing You Would Change About the World?", Harvard Gazette (July 1, 2019)

*"In Search of Green Dwarfs", Scientific American (June 3, 2019)

*"Should Scientists Keep Their Debates Private?", Scientific American (May 14, 2019)

*"`Oumuamua's Cousin?", Scientific American (May 6, 2019)

*"When Lab Experiments Carry Theological Implications", Scientific American (April 22, 2019)

*"How to Keep Scientific Innovation Alive", Scientific American (April 8, 2019)

*"Humanities of the Future", Scientific American (March 4, 2019)

*"Living Near a Supermassive Black Hole", Scientific American (March 11, 2019)

*"Are We Really the Smartest Kid on the Block?", Scientific American (March 4, 2019)

*"Embracing Nature All the Way from Walden Pond to Extraterrestrial Ponds", Scientific American (February 15, 2019)

*"Advanced Extraterrestrials as an Approximation to God", Scientific American (January 26, 2019)

*"Q&A (January 25, 2019)

*"Our Future in Space Will Echo Our Future on Earth", Scientific American (January 10, 2019)

*"How to Approach the Problem of `Oumuamua", Scientific American (December 19, 2018)

*"Six Strange Facts About the First Interstellar Visitor, `Oumuamua", Scientific American (November 20, 2018)

*"Seeking the Truth When the Consensus is Against You", Scientific American (November 9, 2018)

*"On `Oumuamua" (November 5, 2018)

*"Why a Mission to a Visiting Interstellar Object Could Be Our Best Bet for Finding Aliens", Gizmodo (October 31, 2018)

*"Making the Church Taller", Scientific American (October 18, 2018)

*"Searching for Relics of Dead Civilizations", Scientific American (September 27, 2018)

*"Philosophy and Science", Scientific American (September 10, 2018)

*"In Search for Lost Intellectual Treasures", submitted to Project Syndicate (August 23, 2018)

Background anecdote: "This commentary mentions the Indian mathematician, Ramanujan, and is co-authored by my Indian-born postdoc. On the morning it was submitted for publication, I had the chance coincidence in my schedule of meeting back-to-back with my former graduate student, Natalie Mashian (who brought her beautiful newborn daughter), and our new postdoc, Razi Emami (who just started working with me on the neutron star merger GW170817). As it turns out, Natalie's parents (both jewish) immigrated to the US from Iran before they met and Razi was born and raised in Iran recently, and so these two brilliant young women exchanged phone numbers while speaking Farsi in my office. There is no greater pleasure in promoting excellence and diversity than witnessing such a rare moment in the office of an Israeli-born ITC/BHI director.

*"The Power of Anomalies", published in Scientific American (August 28, 2018)

*"Our Dialogue With Nature", Scientific American (August 10, 2018).

Background anecdote: "In my concluding remarks at the BHI conference we held at Harvard in May 2018, I recommended boarding a futuristic spacecraft directed at the nearest black hole to experimentally test the validity of string theory near the singularity. Nima Arkani-Hamed commented that he suspects I have an ulterior motive for sending string theorists into a black hole. For the video of this exchange, click here

*"Sailing on Light", Forbes magazine (August 8, 2018)

*"Science is an Infinite-Sum Game", Scientific American (July 31, 2018)

*"Where do ideas come from?", Scientific American (July 23, 2018)

*"Finding Fuel for Our Frigid Cosmic Future", Scientific American (June 19, 2018)

*"Testing Philosophy Through Experiments", Scientific American (June 7, 2018)

*"Maybe We Could See a Singularity After All", Scientific American (May 22, 2018)

*"Making Academia Matter Again", Project Syndicate (April 17, 2018)

*"Escape from Proxima b", Scientific American (April 16, 2018)

*"Implications of Neutron Star Mergers for Extraterrestrial Civilizations", Scientific American (March 13, 2018)

*"Renewing the Contract of Academia with Society", Scientific American (February 14, 2018)

*"Are Alien Civilizations Technologically Advanced?" Scientific American (January 8, 2018)

*"Vision for Harvard's Future" (September 5, 2017)

*"The Case for Cosmic Modesty", Scientific American (June 2017)

*"Searching for Life Among the Stars", Pan European Networks (June 2017)

*"Astrophysical Russian Dolls", Nature Astronomy (January 2017)

*"Good Data Are Not Enough", Nature (November 2016)

*"The Infinity Pool", Nature Physics (November 2015)

*"Fostering Talent", Physics World (April 2015)

*"The Lost Donkeys of Science", Project Syndicate (October 2014)

*"Benefits of Diversity", Nature Physics (September 2014)

*"Questions & Answers", Harvard FAS Dean's Annual Report (2014)

*"Thinking Outside the Simulation Box", Nature Physics (July 2013)

*"Fostering the Discoveries We Can't See Coming", PBS (July 2012)

*"Rating Research Risk", Nature (April 2012)

*"The Right Kind of Risk", Nature (September 2010)

*"Autobiographical sketch" (1962-2017)

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Solar eclipse at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum on August 21, 2017 (credit: Ned Friedman). red color bar