Brian Greene


Brian Greene received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1984 and his doctorate from Oxford University in 1986, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He joined the physics faculty of Cornell University in 1990, was appointed to the position of full professor in 1995, and in 1996 he joined Columbia University as a professor of physics and of mathematics. Professor Greene is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory, including the co-discovery of mirror symmetry, which launched a vibrant field of research in physics and mathematics, and also the discovery of topology change, which showed that unlike Einstein’s General Relativity, in string theory the fabric of space can tear apart. Professor Greene is the co-founder and director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, a research center seeking string theory’s implications for theories of cosmology.

Professor Greene is known to the public through his general-level lectures and writings. His first book, The Elegant Universe was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, won Britain’s top prize for a book on science, and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos spent half a year on the New York Times bestseller list and inspired the Washington Post to call him “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.” His latest book, The Hidden Reality, is a considered exploration of the science of parallel universes and will be published in February, 2011.

Professor Greene has had many media appearances, from Charlie Rose to David Letterman, and his three-part NOVA special based on The Elegant Universe was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won a Peabody Award, as well as the French Prix Jules Verne Award. His short story for children, Icarus at the Edge of Time, dramatizes in narrative form one of Einstein’s profound insights in relativity. The story has been adapted for live symphonic presentation, with an original score by Philip Glass, and premiered at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in June 2010. Professor Greene is now working with NOVA on a four-part series based on The Fabric of the Cosmos, which will air in the Fall of 2011.

With Emmy award winning journalist Tracy Day, Greene is also co-founder of the The World Science Festival. The Festival debuted in New York City in the spring of 2008, has since drawn an audience of nearly 500,000 people to its annual week-long offerings, and has been hailed by the New York Times as a “new cultural institution”.