The feature film The World of Thinking will be screened on October 18, its U.S. premiere, as part of the 13th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival. Following the screening, join us for a conversation with world-renowned physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed, who is featured in the film, and our Director of Sciences, Prof. Janna Levin.

In The World of Thinking, five of the most brilliant scientists of our time take us on their quest for a revolutionary breakthrough. They are gathered at the world-famous Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the former academic home of Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel. What drives them, which hazards do they have to face, and how do they push themselves beyond existing boundaries?

Nima Arkani-Hamed is one of the leading particle physics phenomenologists of the generation. He is concerned with the relation between theory and experiment. His research has shown how the extreme weakness of gravity, relative to other forces of nature, might be explained by the existence of extra dimensions of space, and how the structure of comparatively low-energy physics is constrained within the context of string theory. He has taken a lead in proposing new physical theories that can be tested at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, and is currently Professor in the School of Natural Science at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Janna Levin is the Director of Sciences and Chair of the Science Studios at Pioneer Works. She is also the Claire Tow Professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. A Guggenheim Fellow, Janna has contributed to an understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions, and gravitational waves in the shape of spacetime. She is the presenter of the NOVA feature Black Hole Apocalypse, aired on PBS—the first female presenter for NOVA in 35 years. Janna also won a PEN prize for a first work of fiction. Her forthcoming book Black Hole Survival Guide will be published this November 2020.

The Pioneer Works Broadcast is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, bridging the two cultures of science and the arts.