Alan Lightman is an American writer, physicist, and social entrepreneur. He has a PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology and five honorary degrees. Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is currently professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. He was the first person at MIT to have a joint faculty position in science and in the humanities.
His essays and articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers. He is widely known as the author of the international bestseller, Einstein’s Dreams, which has been translated into 30 languages and adapted into dozens of independent theatrical productions and is one of the most widely used “common books” on college campuses.
His novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the National Book Award in the US. In 2005, Lightman founded the Harpswell Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia.