October 14, 2016

Popular physicist Michio Kaku to visit SVSU Oct. 24

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku — world-famous for bringing science to popular culture — will speak at Saginaw Valley State University Monday, Oct. 24.

His presentation, titled “The Next 20 Years, How Science Will Revolutionize Medicine, the Economy and Our Way of Life,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. in SVSU’s Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

As the co-founder of string field theory and a professor of physics at the City University of New York, Kaku has written several New York Times Bestselling books about the future of physics including "Hyperspace" and "Physics of the Impossible." He also has contributed science-related essays for publications including Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, and Variety. Kaku is a regular guest on TV talk shows on networks such as ABC, BBC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business, and Fox News. Stephen Colbert, David Letterman and Jon Stewart are among the hosts who have booked Kaku as a guest.

Kaku’s appearances on shows appealing to a wide range of audiences helped propel Kaku as a popularizer of science in the same vein as Carl Sagan, said Matthew Vannette, an SVSU associate professor of physics.

“He presents science in a very engaging way that the general population can understand,” Vannette said. “He takes these complicated ideas and expresses them in terms that someone who is not a specialist can understand.”

Vannette said Kaku’s appearance is generating excitement on campus, particularly among his physics students. Kaku’s value, though, extends to his ability to present ideas not exclusive to science.

“In particular, when he discusses the topic of futurism, it has a lot of potential to spark conversations across the disciplines, from science to psychology to history,” Vannette said. “For me, personally, that’s one of the hallmarks of a university: cross-discipline conversation.”

Kaku is among several thought-provoking speakers scheduled to appear as part of this year's SVSU Visiting Scholars and Artists Series. The series will run during both the fall and winter semesters and is part of SVSU’s community-minded mission to bring leading scholars to campus and share their insights with residents of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

All lectures are open to the public and admission is free of charge.

Kaku’s visit also is part of SVSU’s William and Julia Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion. The William and Julia Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion was established through a gift from the couple in 1993. It annually brings distinguished scholars to SVSU to discuss timely and relevant religious and philosophical topics.