Hayden Planetarium Programs

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

April 5, 2016

LeFrak Theater

What may have started as a science fiction speculation—that perhaps the universe as we know it is actually a computer simulation—has become a serious line of theoretical and experimental investigation among physicists, astrophysicists, and philosophers. Join host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson and his panel of experts for a lively discussion and debate about the merits and shortcomings of this provocative and revolutionary idea.

Watch the full debate here.

2016 Asimov Debate panelists are:

David Chalmers
Professor of philosophy, New York University

Zohreh Davoudi
Theoretical physicist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

James Gates
Theoretical physicist, University of Maryland

Lisa Randall
Theoretical physicist, Harvard University

Max Tegmark
Cosmologist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate—generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work—bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.