Science Speculations: Time Travel

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Belmont Media Center, (via google-hangouts connecting to UMass-Amherst)

David Toomey, Ph.D. Professor of English, UMASS-Amherst; co-director of the English Department’s Professional Writing and Technical Communication Program.
Author of The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics and Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own

David Toomey discusses the art of “translating” complex but fascinating science for the general reader, a task that is increasingly important in an era of constant discoveries that are changing our lives and perspectives. In his book that is the focus of tonight’s discussion, The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics, Dr. Toomey brings to the reader the speculations of Einstein, Thorne and other scientists about time-travel. We learn also how science fiction contributed to the development of the time-travel concept.

Although Dr. Toomey’s academic background was originally in literature, he has managed in his career to combine that specialization with his life-long interest in science. This dual expertise has been beneficial for his literature students and also for the fans of his popular science books.

David Toomey’s books for general readers:

  • Weird Life: the Search for Life that is Very, Very Different from Our Own (W.W. Norton, 2013)
  • The New Time Travelers: a Journey to the Frontiers of Physics (W.W. Norton, 2007)
  • Stormchasers: the Hurricane Hunters and their Flight into Hurricane Janet (W.W. Norton, 2002)
  • Amelia Earhart’s Daughters: the Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age (with Leslie Haynsworth)(William Morrow, 1998)

  • David Toomey’s 2013 book, Weird Life: the search for life that is very, very different from our own (W.W. Norton, 2013) was longlisted for the 2014 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, shortlisted for Physics World Book of the Year for 2013, and named an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. It appeared in Spanish translation from Biblioteca Buridán in 2015 and Japanese translation from Hakuyosha Publishing in 2016.

  • Toomey’s book The New Time Travelers: a journey to the frontiers of physics (W.W. Norton, 2007) was among ten nonfiction books named “new and notable” by Scientific American in 2007, and listed among the “Best Sci-Tech Books 2007” by Library Journal. It appeared in Spanish translation from Biblioteca Buridán in 2008.

Other books:

  • Stormchasers: the Hurricane Hunters and their Flight into Hurricane Janet (W.W. Norton, 2002),
  • Amelia Earhart’s Daughters: the Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age (co-author Leslie Haynsworth) (William Morrow, 1998)
  • Scientific and Technical Communication in Theory, Practice and Policy (with James Collier (Sage, 1996).