Reading: The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space

Wednesday, 25. April 2018
11.45 - 13.15

Y 311


This event is part of the event series „Jour fixe“.

Pippa Goldschmidt writes in a variety of long and short forms; the short stories in her recent collection “The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space" are all inspired by real, imaginary, and bizarre aspects of science. In these tales Einstein ponders on the link between gravity and grief as he voyages in a freefalling lift between his wife and mistress, Turing is capable of imagining the distinction between computers and humans but fails to understand the nature of a police interrogation, Oppenheimer’s isolation in a Cambridge laboratory leads to personal disaster. The suffragette bombing of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in 1913 is finally explained, and Brecht’s rewriting of ‘Life of Galileo’ is influenced by Hiroshima. A student investigates the erotic possibilities of Einstein’s relativistic thought experiments, a computer scientist breaks the barrier between simulated and real worlds, an astronomer uses a predicted meteorite strike to get revenge on her colleagues.

Pippa Goldschmidt has a PhD in astronomy and worked as an astronomer for several years at Imperial College. She also has a Master of Letters in creative writing from University of Glasgow and was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust/Creative Scotland New Writers Award for 2012. She is a 2016 winner of a Suffrage Science award – set up to honour women in science. One of her poems was included in the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Best Scottish Poems’ of 2016 and her essay on European astronomers in Chile was included in ‘The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014‘. From February until April 2018 she passes a literature scholarship in Heidelberg, funded by the Kulturstiftung Rhein-Neckar-Kreis e.V. and the UNESCO City of Literature Heidelberg.