Lawrence M. Krauss
Lawrence M. Krauss
Krauss at Ghent University in 2013
Lawrence Maxwell Krauss
May 27, 1954
|Home town||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Thesis||Gravitation and Phase Transitions in the Early Universe (1982)|
|Doctoral advisor||Roscoe Giles|
Lawrence Maxwell Krauss (born 1954) is an American-Canadian theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and a former professor at Yale University and Case Western Reserve University. He founded ASU's Origins Project to investigate fundamental questions about the universe and served as its director until July 2018. In response to allegations about sexual misconduct by Krauss, ASU conducted an investigation. Having determined that Krauss had violated university policy, they removed him from his position.
He is an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education. Krauss, who is an atheist, works to reduce the influence of what he regards as superstition and religious dogma in popular culture.
Early life and education
Krauss was born on May 27, 1954, in New York City, but spent his childhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was raised in a Jewish household. Krauss received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics with first-class honours at Carleton University (Ottawa) in 1977, and was awarded a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982.
After some time in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Krauss became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1985 and associate professor in 1988. He was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, professor of astronomy, and was chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University from 1993 to 2005. In 2006, Krauss led the initiative for the no-confidence vote against Case Western Reserve University's president Edward M. Hundert and provost John L. Anderson by the College of Arts and Sciences faculty. On March 2, 2006, both no-confidence votes were carried: 131–44 against Hundert and 97–68 against Anderson.
In August 2008, Krauss joined the faculty at Arizona State University as a Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at the Department of Physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also became the Director of the Origins Project, a university initiative "created to explore humankind's most fundamental questions about our origins". In 2009, he helped inaugurate this initiative at the Origins Symposium, in which eighty scientists participated and three thousand people attended.
Krauss appears in the media both at home and abroad to facilitate public outreach in science. He has also written editorials for The New York Times. As a result of his appearance in 2002 before the state school board of Ohio, his opposition to intelligent design has gained national prominence.
Krauss attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief symposia in November 2006 and October 2008. He served on the science policy committee for Barack Obama's first (2008) presidential campaign and, also in 2008, was named co-president of the board of sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In 2010, he was elected to the board of directors of the Federation of American Scientists, and in June 2011, he joined the professoriate of the New College of the Humanities, a private college in London. In 2013, he accepted a part-time professorship at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the physics department of the Australian National University.
Krauss is a critic of string theory, which he discusses in his 2005 book Hiding in the Mirror. In his 2012 book A Universe from Nothing Krauss says about string theory "we still have no idea if this remarkable theoretical edifice actually has anything to do with the real world". Another book, released in March 2011, titled Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, while A Universe from Nothing —with an afterword by Richard Dawkins—was released in January 2012 and became a New York Times bestseller within a week. Originally, its foreword was to have been written by Christopher Hitchens, but Hitchens grew too ill to complete it. The paperback version of the book appeared in January 2013 with a new question-and-answer section and a preface integrating the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider. On March 21, 2017, his newest book, 'The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here?' was released in hardcover, paperback, and audio version.
A July 2012 article in Newsweek, written by Krauss, indicates how the Higgs particle is related to our understanding of the Big Bang. He also wrote a longer piece in the New York Times explaining the science behind and significance of the particle.
Allegations of sexual misconduct
In a February 2018 article describing allegations that "range from offensive comments to groping and non-consensual sexual advances", BuzzFeed reported a variety of sexual misconduct claims against Krauss, including two complaints from his years at CWRU. Krauss responded that the article was "slanderous" and "factually incorrect". In a public statement, he apologized "to anyone he made feel intimidated or uncomfortable", but stated that the BuzzFeed article "ignored counter-evidence, distorted the facts and made absurd claims about me."
ASU stated that they had not received complaints from faculty, staff, or students before the BuzzFeed article but subsequently began an internal investigation regarding an accusation that Krauss grabbed a woman’s breast while at a convention in Australia. Investigators interviewed two eyewitnesses, and two other witnesses who immediately spoke with the unnamed woman. The witnesses described the woman as troubled and shocked. The woman told investigators that "she did not feel victimized, felt it was a clumsy interpersonal interaction and thought she had handled it in the moment." ASU found that the preponderance of evidence suggested that Krauss had violated the university's policy against sexual harassment by grabbing a woman's breast without her permission . As a result, Krauss was replaced as director of the Origins Project in August 2018.
Several organizations also canceled scheduled talks by Krauss. Krauss resigned from the position of chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors when informed that its other members felt his presence was distracting "from the ability of the Bulletin to effectively carry out [its] work". The American Association for the Advancement of Science removed his Fellow title in response.
Krauss mostly works in theoretical physics and has published research on a variety of topics within that field. His primary contribution is to cosmology as one of the first physicists to suggest that most of the mass and energy of the Universe resides in empty space, an idea now widely known as "dark matter", as well as his contributions to the attempt to understand the origin and nature of dark matter, and methods for its detection. Krauss has formulated a model in which the Universe could have potentially come from "nothing", as outlined in his 2012 book A Universe from Nothing. He explains that certain arrangements of relativistic quantum fields might explain the existence of the Universe as we know it while disclaiming that he "has no idea if the notion [of taking quantum mechanics for granted] can be usefully dispensed with". As his model appears to agree with experimental observations of the Universe (such as its shape and energy density), it is referred to by some as a "plausible hypothesis". His model has however been opposed by cosmologist George Ellis and mathematical physicist I. S. Kohli who have argued that many of his claims pertaining to A Universe from Nothing "are not supported in full by modern general relativity theory or quantum field theory in curved spacetime".
Initially, Krauss was skeptical of the existence of the Higgs boson. However, after it was detected by CERN, he has been researching the implications of the Higgs field on the nature of dark energy.
Krauss has argued that public policy debates in the United States should have a greater focus on science. He criticized Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's statements on science, writing that Carson's remarks "suggest he never learned or chooses to ignore basic, well-tested scientific concepts".
Krauss has described himself as an antitheist and takes part in public debates on religion. Krauss is featured in the 2013 documentary The Unbelievers, in which he and Richard Dawkins travel across the globe speaking publicly about the importance of science and reason as opposed to religion and superstition. He has participated in many debates with religious apologists, including William Lane Craig.
In his book A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (2012), Krauss discusses the premise that something cannot come from nothing, which has often been used as an argument for the existence of a prime mover. He has since argued in a debate with John Ellis and Don Cupitt that the laws of physics allow for the Universe to be created from nothing. "What would be the characteristics of a universe that was created from nothing, just with the laws of physics and without any supernatural shenanigans? The characteristics of the universe would be precisely those of the ones we live in." In an interview with The Atlantic, however, he states that he has never claimed that "questions about origins are over". According to Krauss, "I don't ever claim to resolve that infinite regress of why-why-why-why-why; as far as I'm concerned it's turtles all the way down".
In an interview with Krauss in the Scientific American, science writer Claudia Dreifus called Krauss "one of the few top physicists who is also known as a public intellectual". Krauss is one of very few to have received awards from all three major American physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. In 2012, he was awarded the National Science Board's Public Service Medal for his contributions to public education in science and engineering in the United States.
In December 2011, Krauss became a non-voting honorary board member for the Center for Inquiry. The center suspended its association with Krauss in March 2018 in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct, "pending further information".
Krauss has authored or co-authored more than three hundred scientific studies and review articles on cosmology and theoretical physics.
- The Fifth Essence (1989), Basic Books, ISBN 978-0465023752
- Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed (1994), Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02367-3
- The Physics of Star Trek (1996), Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-00559-4
- Beyond Star Trek: Physics from Alien Invasions to the End of Time (1998), Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0060977573
- Quintessence: The Search for Missing Mass in the Universe (2000), Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-03741-0
- Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond (2001), Black Bay, ISBN 0-316-18309-1
- Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond (2005), Viking, ISBN 0-670-03395-2
- Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (2011), Norton and Co. ISBN 978-0-393-06471-1
- A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (2012), Atria Books, ISBN 978-1-4516-2445-8 
- The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here? (2017), Atria Books, ISBN 978-1-4767-7761-0
- 100 Things to Do Before You Die (plus a few to do afterwards). 2004. Profile Books.
- The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue? 2009. Yale Press.
- The Energy of Empty Space that isn't Zero. 2006. Edge.org 
- A dark future for cosmology. 2007. Physics World.
- The End of Cosmology. 2008. Scientific American.
- The return of a static universe and the end of cosmology. 2008. International journal of modern physics.
- Late time behavior of false vacuum decay: Possible implications for cosmology and metastable inflating states. 2008. Physical Review Letters.
- Krauss, Lawrence M. (June 2010). "Why I love neutrinos". Scientific American. 302 (6): 19. Bibcode:2010SciAm.302f..34K. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0610-34.
- The Unbelievers (2013)
- The Principle (2014)
- on YouTube (2016)
- Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016)
- The Farthest (2017)
- How the Universe Works (2010–)
- Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Award in the 1984 Essay Competition
- Presidential Investigator Award (1986)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science's Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology (2000)
- Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize (2001)
- Andrew Gemant Award (2001)
- American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award (2002)
- Oersted Medal (2003)
- American Physical Society Joseph P. Burton Forum Award (2005)
- Center for Inquiry World Congress Science in the Public Interest Award (2009)
- Helen Sawyer Hogg Prize of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Astronomical Society of Canada (2009)
- Physics World Book of the Year 2011 for Quantum Man
- National Science Board 2012 Public Service Award and Medal (2012)
- Premio Roma "Urbs Universalis", Rome (2013)
- Elected as Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism (2013)
- AFO (Academia Film Olomouc) Award for Outstanding Personal Contribution to the Popularization of Science, 49th Annual AFO Festival April 19, 2014. Olomouc, Czech Republic 
- Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Award in the 2014 Essay Competition
- Humanist of the Year, 2015, American Humanist Association
- Richard Dawkins Award 2016, Atheist Alliance of America
- Emperor Has No Clothes Award 2016, Freedom from Religion Foundation
- "Alumni Notes" (PDF). MIT. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
- "About The Origins Project". origins.asu.edu. Arizona State University. Archived from the original on 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- "Lawrence Krauss replaced as director of The Origins Project". The Arizona State Press. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
- Wadman, Meredith (2018) "University finds prominent astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss grabbed a woman’s breast." Science Aug. 3. doi:10.1126/science.aav0010
- Krauss, Lawrence (June 1, 2010). "Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous". Scientific American. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Physicist Lawrence Krauss on Our Cosmic Origins, the Beauty of Science, and Outgrowing Religion. Onbeing.org, August 17, 2012
- "Lawrence M. Krauss, BSc / 77". cualumni.carleton.ca. Carleton University Alumni Association. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Alumni/ae Notes - MIT" (PDF). web.mit.edu. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2003. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Krauss, Lawrence. "Curriculum Vitae". Arizona State University. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- "Origins Symposium 2009". Arizona State University - Origins Project. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Ratliff, Evan. 2004. "The Crusade Against Evolution." 12 (October): 157–161.
- "The professoriate" Archived June 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, New College of the Humanities, accessed June 8, 2011.
- "Renowned cosmologist makes ANU a long-term fixture". anu.edu.au. May 31, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- Boutin, Paul (November 23, 2005). "Theory of Anything? Physicist Lawrence Krauss Takes On His Own". Slate. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Reynosa, Peter. "Some of the Changes Lawrence M. Krauss Should Make to the Second Edition of "A Universe From Nothing"". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
- Krauss, Lawrence M. (2012). A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. New York: Free Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-4516-2445-8.
- "Afterword from Lawrence Krauss' New Book - A Universe From Nothing - Richard Dawkins - RDFRS". RichardDawkins.net. January 16, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Dennis Overbye (Feb 21, 2012) "There's More to Nothing Than We Knew", New York Times p.D1
- Krauss, Lawrence M. (July 9, 2012). "How the Higgs Boson Posits a New Story of our Creation". Newsweek. The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
The Higgs particle is now arguably more relevant than God.
- Scragg, Chris (2018-02-25). "ASU professor Lawrence Krauss accused of sexual misconduct". The State Press. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
- Aldhous, Peter; Ghorayshi, Azeen; Hughes, Virginia (2018-02-22). "Celebrity Atheist Lawrence Krauss Accused Of Sexual Misconduct For Over A Decade". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- "ASU professor Lawrence Krauss: Sex-misconduct allegations are 'absurd,' 'libelous'". AZcentral. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Chang, Kenneth (March 7, 2018). "Arizona State Suspends Lawrence Krauss During Inquiry Over Sexual Misconduct Accusations". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-03-08.
- Searle, Mark (2018-07-31). "Determination of complaint of violation of ACD 401" (PDF). AAAS | Science Magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
- Kimberly Rapanut (August 7, 2018). "Lawrence Krauss violated ASU sexual harassment policies, investigation shows". The State Press. Arizona State University.
- Sinclaire, Janice (2018-03-06). "Lawrence Krauss resigns from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Rachel Bronson. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
- "Lawrence Krauss Letter of Resignation" (PDF). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2018-03-06. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
- Wadman, Meredith (2018-09-21). "AAAS adopts new policy for ejecting harassers". Science. 361 (6408): 1175–1175. doi:10.1126/science.361.6408.1175. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 30237333.
- "On the Origin of Everything". The New York Times. March 25, 2012.
- Boutin, Paul (November 23, 2005). "Theory of Anything? Physicist Lawrence Krauss Takes on His Own". Slate. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Dreyfus, Claudia (August 2004). "Questions That Plague Physics: Lawrence Krauss Speaks About Unfinished Business" (PDF). Scientific American. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Horgan, John. "Is Lawrence Krauss a Physicist, or Just a Bad Philosopher?". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- Kohli, Ikjyot Singh (2014-05-17). "Comments On: A Universe From Nothing". arXiv:1405.6091 [physics.gen-ph].
- Krauss, Lawrence M. (2017). The greatest story ever told... so far. New York: Atria Books. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-4767-7761-0.
- "Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 061802 (2013): Higgs Seesaw Mechanism as a Source for Dark Energy". Prl.aps.org. August 7, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Nina Burleigh (12 Aug 2015). "It's Time for Presidential Candidates to Talk About Science". Newsweek.
'Leading the national discussion requires some basic knowledge of what the important issues are, what is known and not known, and what new efforts need to be commenced,' says physicist Lawrence Krauss. 'Scientific data is not Democratic or Republican.'
- Lawrence Krauss on Science Debate. YouTube. February 23, 2008.
- Lawrence M Krauss; Shawn Lawrence Otto (20 Mar 2012). "Americans Deserve a Presidential Science Debate". Huffington Post.
- "Lawrence Krauss - The LHC, going to Mars, and the US Presidential campaign". The Science Show. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 Sep 2008.
Too little of the US presidential campaign mentions science, says Krauss, considering its importance.
- Lawrence Krauss (28 Sep 2015). "Ben Carson's Scientific Ignorance". The New Yorker.
- "Krauss: 'A High School Biology Student' Would Fail With Dr. Carson's Science Knowledge". Alan Colmes Show. Fox News Radio. 5 Oct 2015.
- "I cannot hide my own intellectual bias here. As I state in the first sentence of the book, I have never been sympathetic to the notion that creation requires a creator. And like our late friend, Christopher Hitchens, I find the possibility of living in a universe that was not created for my existence, in which my actions and thoughts need not bend to the whims of a creator, far more enriching and meaningful than the other alternative. In that sense, I view myself as an anti-theist rather than an atheist." Krauss, Lawrence M., Everything and Nothing: An Interview with Lawrence M. Krauss. Samharris.org, January 3, 2012
- "THE UNBELIEVERS Official Trailer (Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss)". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. February 8, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- A universe from nothing? Putting the Krauss-Craig debate into perspective by Luke Barnes, August 13, 2013
- Krauss, Lawrence. "Why is there something rather than nothing". IAI. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- Andersen, Ross (April 23, 2012). "Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- University of Texas at Austin. The M.E.L. Oakes Undergraduate Lecture Series Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Krauss Named Honorary Board Member". Center for Inquiry. December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- "Center for Inquiry Official Statement".
- "Lawrence Krauss - Publications". Arizona State University. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- "THE ENERGY OF EMPTY SPACE THAT ISN'T ZERO". July 5, 2006.
- "Interview with Lawrence Krauss". Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "Salt and Fire (2016)". IMDB. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- "Dark Matter and Inflation*". December 2014. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
- "Lawrence M. Krauss". Harper Collins. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
- "AAAS Public Engangement with Science Award Recipients". www.aaas.org. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize". www.aps.org. American Physical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Gemant Award Winners". www.aip.org. American Institute of Physics. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Elections". www.aps.org. American Physical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "The Oersted Medal". www.aapt.org. American Association of Physics Teachers. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Joseph A. Burton Forum Award". www.aps.org. American Physical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Randi, Krauss, Kurtz Honored with Major Awards". www.csicop.org. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "Physics World Book of the Year 2011". December 19, 2011.
- "The National Science Board Announces Recipient of the 2012 Public Service Award". www.nsf.gov. The National Science Foundation. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "ASU's Krauss receives Rome's most prestigious cultural award". www.asu.edu. ASU News. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- "International Academy of Humanism". www.secularhumanism.org. Council for Secular Humanism. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Arizona State University News, accessed April 22, 2014
- Krauss, Lawrence M; Wilczek, Frank (2014). "From B-modes to quantum gravity and unification of forces*". International Journal of Modern Physics D. 23 (12): 1441001. arXiv:1404.0634. Bibcode:2014IJMPD..2341001K. doi:10.1142/S0218271814410016. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
- "Krauss named Humanist of the Year". ASU News.
- "Emperor Has No Clothes Award 2016". Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
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