I give multimedia interactive science-based talks to groups of any size on any and all of the following topics:
Trust and Human Knowledge - How do we know what we know is true
Big Bang, Black Holes and Relativity - Space and Time are not what you think they are
Quantum Universe - Space and Time are still not what you think they are
Chaos Theory, Fractals and Climate Change - Why Disasters Happen, and Why You Can't Do Anything About It
Complexity Theory - Everything is more than the sum of its parts.
The Relational Universe - It's not just about you.
The Anthropic Principle vs. the Multiverse - Let's Talk about God. Let's don't. Please.
There's Nothing There
Plus, talks on Crossing Cultures
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 45 - 360 minutes
Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Swissgerman. German Best.
Website: Visit website
What to Expect
Minds blown. Multiple incredulous unbelieving exclamations of "What?!?!" Shattered paradigms all around. And the physics geeks strutting about saying, "That's my stuff. That's what I do. Isn't it awesome?!"
I've been doing these talks for nearly 3 decades, hundreds of talks for tens of thousands of listeners, and that's what happens, every time. Then they go away and talk about them for weeks, months. Sometimes they come back to see them again and again. They email me with questions. And I get invited back to the same venue over and over - 7 years as the speaker at a conference in Jakarta, 5 years at a similar conference as the speaker in San Jose, Costa Rica, 17 straight years at one school, 15 years at another, thrice at conferences hosted by The Faraday Institute at Cambridge Univ in the UK, 7 times as the speaker at a junior college in Colorado, and many other schools many times each. I've been the speaker at over 60 conferences in 20 countries, at hundreds of schools and dozens of churches. The folks who invite me love the impact on their audiences, whether they are students or adults.
Ultimately, the talks are about perception and trust; can we trust our perceptions to give us an accurate representation of what the world is like. This is true for all of the science talks, and it's true for the cross cultural talks, as well, although in a different way. The answer is always, no, we cannot, but the magical wonder of the universe that is revealed to us in the process is breath-taking and, as above, paradigm shattering.
Where we finally get at the end is that the universe is not made of things; it is made of interactions, of relationships, and startlingly, not relationships between things, but things as the manifestation of relationships. There is much that we do not and will not understand about the universe, so in the midst of the magic and the wonder comes humility. But it is a humility that enrich by the reality shown to us by modern science that we matter to the universe. God might make a brief appearance in the process, not without controversy, but as a natural source to the sources of nature.
Given a chance and time, I very much like to do open Q&A with the audience in some way, and that creates some of the most powerful moments, those moments of interaction between me and the audience. The best times are found in walking into a room after the talks and saying, here I am. I've got no plan. Do you have any questions? And off we go for hours if allowed to do so.
There are comments from people on our website. Here are a few:
The last five days were without a doubt one of the best presentations ever in my life! - Sean, Rampart High School
"Awesome in the true sense of the word"; "Accessible, funny and interesting"; "He made us think and learn in an exciting way." -- ACS Hillingdon International School (UK) students
Thank you for your time and for your ideas. The presentation was the best thing I've been taught since I started school. - Brett, Rampart High School
Thank you. Your presentation was truly life changing. - Paloma, Rampart High School, Colorado
“(It) was the highlight of the whole course” -- Kevin, Palmer High School, Colorado
On behalf of our students, parents, and staff, I wanted to extend our sincerely appreciation for your coming to Bali last month. The students are still talking about your presentation, in practically every class. I do hope you’ll consider coming again next year, as the students would love to meet with you again! Sean McAuley, IB Diploma Co-ordinator, Bali International School
Having just spent a week with (Andy Fletcher), I feel compelled to write and express my utter delight and gratification for his efforts in my high school classroom. (He) guest-lectured in my classroom for four days last week. It was a daunting task. His topics were culled from post-modern science, including Einsteinian relativity, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and complexity theory.
Andy's knowledge base for these complex and ill-understood science topics is incredible. Not only has he command of the subject matter, but he has the ability, as the gifted teacher he is, to relate the information in a fun, informative, and, most importantly, relational manner. While he is judicious, as he should be, about overtly referencing issues of faith, he weaves a compelling story about how the topics of 20th century science can lead to rigorous self-questioning about creation, religion, and one's place in the universe.
I have taught for twenty-two years and received several teaching awards myself, so I recognize quality teaching when I see it. Andy was absolutely spell-binding. I found myself in awe of this master teacher taking my students on a most exciting and worthwhile journey -- Andy created some magic moments in my classroom. Dr. John Kistler, Palmer High School, Colorado
Your visit sparked the most conversation outside the classroom than any other lesson that I know of. Mary Beth Kiley, IB Coordinator, International School Aberdeen, Scotland
I have just come from one of Andy's talks on the links between science and religion. It was entertaining, engaging and very funny - but better than this it was inspirational.
Whether or not you believe that science can tell us anything about religion - (I should be frank here and say that I do not) this is the perfect way to bring students into the problem and make it immediate and real for them. All the students were fascinated by his mesmerising presentation and left wanting to know more. I heard them talking about it at lunchtime; they all wanted to talk about it, to explore the ideas and to see how their beliefs stood up to the themes he presented. This was a terrific experience for the kids.
Andy is a wonderful guest speaker; I am moving schools this year and I will do my best to bring him to my new school - and I would recommend him to anyone wishing to explore the links between science and religion. Nick Alchin, Formerly at National Technological University (Singapore), California State University (Singapore campus), United World College of SE Asia (Singapore), International School of Geneva, and Sevenoaks School, Kent, UK, Dean of Studies, The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Kenya, now at UWCSEA Singapore
I've been giving these talks since 1991, mostly in high schools globally, at over 280 schools in 45 countries, and as the sole speaker at over 60 conferences in 20 countries, as keynote speaker at a few more. I've also keynoted at two conferences at Cambridge Univ in the UK and spoken at a third, and I've given shorter versions of the talks for audiences that included CERN physicists in Geneva a number of times. Just for fun, I also do them on cruise ships, where audiences of 300-500 adults show up for 7-10 talks on life, the universe and everything over a 2-3 week period of time. I've also done them at a number of churches and religious retreats, but only for those who are OK with Big Bang, at a junior college every other year in Colorado and once at Mount Kenya Univ in Nairobi for professors from around the country.
The general topics are Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Chaos, Complexity, and the Anthropic Principle, finishing with a brief history of the universe. More specific subsets are Black Holes, Big Bang; Quantum Slits, -Tunneling, -Entanglement, and Schroedinger's Cat; the Butterfly Effect, Hurricanes, Space Shuttles, Climate Change, 9/11, the Golden Mean, and Fractals; and issues in Complexity Theory like self-organization, spontaneous emergence, Multi-drug resistant staph, bacteria, cells, octopi, blister beetles, cats/rats/and toxoplasma gondii, and so on. Another topic is called There's Nothing There, all about the universe being made of interactions rather than matter -it's very cool. Pulls all the other science topics together into one fascinating narrative.
I also do talks on Third Culture Kids, Cultural Adaptation, Re-entry, and related issues.
I am the founder and president of Life, the Universe and Everything, a non-profit that sends me around the planet giving the talks, founded in 2005. I've been a public speaker in one form or another since 1979, full-time since 2002.
My background is a bit eclectic. High school in Switzerland, went to univ in Texas and Japan before graduating from USC in LA in history with minors in math, phil. and Japanese, speak 5 languages badly, have written 6 books, visited 75 countries, lived in 4, and so on. Singer/songwriter, photographer, skier, blah blah blah. A bit of grad school long ago in math and education. Taught high school in W. Hollywood, Zurich, Geneva, Pebble Beach, junior college in central Calif. 16 schools, 20 jobs, 30 cars, 42 homes in 26 cities, skied in 78 ski resorts, one wife, two kids, three dogs (deceased)(the dogs).
Additional Booking Notes
All I need is a mic, a digital projector and screen, computer audio, a table, a podium, a table, maybe a stool to perch upon, water, a dark room, and an audience.
Projector, screen, personal mic, computer audio, table, podium, stool, power, dark room.