The Blair community will welcome scientist and author Don Lincoln, PhD, to the October 23 Society of Skeptics, where he will give a whirlwind talk about “Quarks, the Cosmos and Everything in Between.” A senior researcher at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, and adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Lincoln is also a passionate storyteller who enjoys sharing his and his colleagues’ cutting-edge research with the public. He will use much of the time during Skeptics to field questions from the audience, and his presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Chiang Center for Innovation and Collaboration.
Dr. Lincoln earned his doctorate in experimental particle physics from Rice University in 1994 and has spent 30 years investigating the laws of nature and exploring the energy frontier. He was a member of the teams that discovered the top quark and the Higgs boson, both noteworthy accomplishments among his many scientific achievements. Co-author of more than 1,000 scientific journal articles and author of four books, Dr. Lincoln also publicizes his research and findings via YouTube and TedEd videos, as well as in articles for the Huffington Post, CNN, Scientific American and NOVA websites.
Having lectured on four continents to a broad range of audiences, Dr. Lincoln is looking forward to engaging with the Blair community and conveying the most modern theories in particle physics using stories and analogies. “Anyone who has ever asked the big questions, like ‘why are we here, why is the universe the way it is and does it have to be this way?’ should attend this talk,” he said.
Noting that people have asked these questions for millennia and proposed answers from religion and philosophy, he pointed out that since about 1543, there has been a “new approach in town”—professional science. “Scientists have delved into these big questions, asking and answering them, until we’ve found demonstrable and verifiable answers to at least parts of them, including to the biggest question of all: How did the universe come into existence? I’ll discuss these answers and show just how impressive our understanding of origins of the universe really is.”
Dr. Lincoln is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was awarded the 2013 Outreach Prize from the High Energy Physics division of the European Physical Society and the 2017 Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics for his efforts in communicating science to the public. Visit his website here.
The History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.