2004 Asimov Debate: The Dark Side main content.

2004 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Dark Side

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The subject of the fourth annual Isaac Asimov debate was on all that is dark and mysterious in the Universe, from super-massive black holes that lurk in the centers of galaxies to the dark matterthat accounts for more than eighty percent of all the gravity in the Universe. In addition, there is dark energy which is currently forcing our expanding Universe to accelerate. What does all this mean for our understanding of the Universe?


  • Katie Freese—Professor of Physics, University of Michigan. Working on a wide range of topics in theoretical cosmology and particle physics, Dr. Freese has been working to identify the dark matter and dark energy of the Universe as well as explore the large scale structure of the Universe.
  • Brian Greene—Professor of Physics & Mathematics, Columbia University. A researcher in superstring theory, Dr. Greene is also the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality.
  • Robert Kirshner—Clowes Professor of Science, Harvard University. Dr. Kirshner is a co-discoverer of dark energy, the force behind the accelerated expansion of the Universe, and a researcher of supernovae, the large-scale distribution of galaxies, and the size and shape of the Universe.
  • Michael S. Turner—Associate Director of Mathematical and Physical Sciences for the National Science Foundation; Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago; senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Dr. Turner investigates cosmology as a probe to uncover the fundamental laws of physics.
  • J. Anthony Tyson—Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. Dr. Tyson's current research centers on experimental cosmology with regard to observational probes of dark matter and dark energy in the Universe. He has led the development of cameras and analysis techniques for ground-based imaging of the distant, younger Universe.

Host & Moderator

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson—Astrophysicist and The Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium.