Priyamvada Natarajan, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Yale University. Natarajan website Dr. Natarajan is also Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professor of the Dark Cosmology Center, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Honorary Professor for life at the University of Delhi, India. Dr. Natarajan is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. She is also an advisor for Nova Science Now. Author, Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.
Dr. Natarajan’s December 20, 2016 appearance on SftPublic’s Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations where she discussed Astrophysics Knowns and Unknowns. In this program Dr. Natarajan describes how astrophysicists/astronomers and cosmologists attempt to decipher our universe and she explains some of the big “knowns” and “unknowns.” More important she explains the “provisionality” of science and how this scientific approach to natural phenomena is influencing modern thinking –gradually replacing the traditional habit of blind belief. She also discusses the necessity of this modern type of thinking for the preservation of democratic culture. And, finally, she addresses the false dichotomy of science vs. the arts: there is every reason to actively bridge these movements. And –a treat– Dr. Natarajan describes her project on the origins of the earliest black holes. Her group’s theory on this is quite revolutionary and will be confirmed or disconfirmed by James Webb telescope, which will be launched in 2018.
Dr. Natarajan’s July 19, 2016 appearance on SftPublic’s Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations Mapping the Heavens. In this program she discusses both her new book about how so many of today’s major scientific theories were initially resisted, and her own work on black holes and the mapping of dark matter in the universe (two of those “radical” ideas). She explains how she and her colleagues construct dark matter maps of clusters of galaxies, the largest known repositories of dark matter, and how gravitational lensing is used to test evolving dark energy models.