Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Expert Testimony

Alan Lightman considers the role of the public intellectual

August 28, 2010 Memphis native Alan Lightman is a scientist and a bestselling author– two roles rarely played by the same person. In an essay for the M.I.T. Communications Forum, he asks a number of questions about the role of experts in the mainstream: “How does the intellectual stand both outside society and inside society? How does the intellectual find common ground between what is of deeply personal and private interest and also what is of public interest? How does the intellectual engage him or herself with the changing issues of society while at the same time remaining true to certain unchanging principles?” Read his answers here.