MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing
News & Events News & Events News & Events

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, Alan Lightman’s latest book, has been awarded the 2019 New England Society Book Award for Contemporary Nonfiction/Biography. Drawing on ideas ranging from Saint Augustine’s conception of absolute truth to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the book explores our innate desire to find certainty and scientific discoveries that prove time and time again just how uncertain the world truly is.

The New England Society Book Awards honors books of merit that celebrate New England and its culture. All five winning books share a connection to the New England area through “geography, history or spirit.” The award is given by The New England Society in the City of New York, one of the country’s oldest social, charitable, and cultural organizations. Dr. Lightman joins a prestigious group of past New England Society honorees, including Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louis Auchincloss, William F. Buckley Jr., and David McCullough.

Dr. Lightman is a Professor of the Practice of the Humanities in the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing. He was the first person to receive dual faculty appointments at MIT in science and in humanities. His novel, Einstein’s Dreams, was an international bestseller and has been translated into 30 languages. His novel, The Diagnosis, was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction. His book about modern cosmology, Origins, was voted the best book in physical science by the Association of American Publishers.

Congratulations to Dr. Lightman and all of the New England Society Book Award winners.