Scientific American Travel Logo

Bright Horizons 17 Speakers

Norwegian Fjords • July 5–15, 2013



Kenneth W. Harl, Professor of Classical History at Tulane University in New Orleans, teaches courses in Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Viking, and Crusader history. He earned his B.A. from Trinity College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is recognized as an outstanding lecturer, receiving many teaching awards at Tulane, and Baylor University’s nationwide Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers. Professor Harl is an expert in the study of coins, both ancient and Medieval, publishing a wide variety of articles and two major books on numismatics: Civic Coins and Civic Politics in the Roman East, A.D. 180–275 and Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700. He is currently finishing a book on coins unearthed in an excavation of Gordion, Turkey. He has also begun new book on Rome and her Iranian foes in which he will combine literary sources, archaeology, and coins to explain how Rome came to dominate the Middle East. Professor Harl is a fellow and trustee of the American Numismatic Society; he is on the governing board of the American Research Institute in Turkey; and has served in various positions of the American Institute for Archaeology and the Association of Ancient Historians.


Robert M. Hazen is Senior Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. He received the B.S. and M.S. in geology at the MIT, the Ph.D. at Harvard University in Earth science, and was NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University.

Hazen is author of more than 380 articles and 25 books on science, history, and music. His most recent book is the critically acclaimed The Story of Earth (Viking-Penguin). A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has received the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) Award and MSA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, the American Chemical Society Ipatieff Prize, the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, the Educational Press Association Award, and was the 2012 recipient of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award. He has presented numerous named lectures and was Distinguished Lecturer for Sigma Xi and MSA, for which he Past President. Hazen’s recent research focuses on roles of minerals in life’s origins, including mineral-catalyzed organic synthesis and selective adsorption of organic molecules on mineral surfaces. He has also developed a new approach to mineralogy, called “mineral evolution,” which explores the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres. The biomineral “hazenite” was named in his honor.

At George Mason University he developed curricula on scientific literacy with Prof. James Trefil. Their books include the best selling Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy and The Sciences: An Integrated Approach, now entering its seventh edition. Hazen teaches courses on symmetry in art and science, on images of the scientist in popular culture, and on scientific ethics. He appears frequently on radio and television programs on science, and he developed popular video courses, including The Joy of Science and The Origins of Life, both produced by The Teaching Company.

In October 2010 Hazen retired from a 40-year career as a professional trumpeter. He performed with numerous ensembles including the Metropolitan, Boston, and Washington Operas, the Royal, Bolshoi, and Kirov Ballets, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Orchestre de Paris. Prior to his retirement he was a member and soloist with the Washington Chamber Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the Washington Bach Consort, and the National Gallery Orchestra.


Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, in charge of academic programs. His research is on observational cosmology, gravitational lensing, and the evolution and structure of galaxies. He has over 160 refereed publications and 60 conference proceedings, and his work has been supported by $20 million in grants from NASA and the NSF. As a professor, he has won eleven teaching awards, and has been heavily involved in curriculum and instructional technology development. Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society. He has also been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, and the Carnegie Council on Teaching’s Arizona Professor of the Year. Impey has written over thirty popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology and authored two introductory textbooks. His has published three popular science books: The Living Cosmos (2007, Random House), How It Ends (2010, Norton) and How It Began (2012, Norton). He has three more popular books coming out within the next year: Dreams of Other Worlds (Princeton), Humble Before the Void (Templeton), and Beyond: Our Future in Space (Norton). He teaches audiences ranging from NASA engineers to Buddhist monks in India. He was a co-chair of the Education and Public Outreach Study Group for the Astronomy Decadal Survey of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Robert Sapolsky is professor of biology, neurology, and neurosurgery at Stanford University as well as a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya. For more than 30 years, he has divided his time between life in the laboratory as a neurobiologist studying the effects of stress on the brain, and as a primatologist, studying individual differences in stress, behavior, and health among wild baboons living in a national park in East Africa. He is also the author of numerous books for non-scientists, including Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers; A Primate’s Memoir; and Monkeyluv and Other Essays on our Lives as Animals.


Benjamin Schumacher studied theoretical physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the last Ph.D. student of the famous physicist and teacher John Archibald Wheeler. A pioneer in the new field of quantum information theory, he discovered quantum data compression and introduced the term “qubit” for the basic unit of quantum information. He has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific work, and he has lectured at universities and research institutes worldwide. He is the author of many scientific papers, textbooks on both relativity and quantum mechanics, and two courses of video lectures on physics for The Great Courses. Since 1988 he has been a member of the faculty at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he holds the rank of Professor of Physics. He is married to Carol Schumacher, also a Professor (of Mathematics) at Kenyon. They have two daughters and an indeterminate number of live cats.

264 S. Meridith Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106 • 650-787-5665 • Copyright 2012 © InSight Cruises • Scientific American is a trademark of Nature America, Inc.