题目：Newton and His Apple: Creativity, Sexuality, Religion and Science
Isaac Newton (1642-1727), a natural philosopher and perhaps the greatest scientist of all time, had a tough childhood. He made all his great discoveries at age 23/24, right after he received his bachelor degree, and became chair professor at Cambridge University at 27. He was also a man with many “strange” behaviors, a true believer in God, and most likely a homosexual. While Newton was busy discovering the universal law of gravitation, he was also searching out hidden meanings in the Bible and pursuing the covert art of alchemy, what some people call pseudoscience today. Is he really a scientist? Is there any connection between creativity and sexuality? Is there any conflict between religious and scientific pursuits? Why did Newton wait 21 years to publish his great book Principia? And, did the apple credited to inspire Newton’s gravitational theory really fall on his head? In this talk, all these questions will be discussed and answered, by putting Newton’s case in the context of the bigger issues.
Lui LAM (林磊), humanist and physicist, obtained his BS from University of Hong Kong; MS, University of British Columbia; PhD, Columbia University. He did his PhD thesis at Bell Labs under Philip Platzman, student of Nobelist Richard Feynman. Lam invented Bowlic liquid crystals (1982), Active Walks (1992), and two new disciplines: Histophysics (2002) and Science Matters (2008). He has published 14 books and over 170 scientific papers; the books include Arts: A Science Matter (2011) and All About Science (2014). He is the founder of the International Liquid Crystal Society (1990); cofounder of the Chinese Liquid Crystal Society (1980); founder and editor of two book series, “Science Matters” (World Scientific) and “Partially Ordered Systems” (Springer), and cofounder and coordinator of the International Science Matters Committee (ISMC). Lam is an editor of Physics and Science Popularization. His current research is in Science Matters (scimat), Histophysics, and Complex Systems; Scimat website: www.sjsu.edu/people/lui.lam/scimat. Email: email@example.com.