The Humanist Hour #84: Dr. Sean M. Carroll

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guest on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, Todd Stiefel welcomes Maggie Ardiente, Director of Development and Communications at the American Humanist Association, and Dr. Sean M. Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech and keynote speaker at the American Humanist Association 72nd Annual Conference held May 30-June 2, 2013 in San Diego, CA.

Maggie Ardiente, co-host

Maggie Ardiente is the Director of Development and Communications at the American Humanist Association. She also serves as senior editor of

She graduated with a B.S. in sociology and second major in religion from James Madison University and served as vice president of the JMU Freethinkers, a student group for atheists, agnostics, and humanists. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Secular Student Alliance and graduate of Class 15 of the Humanist Institute.

Maggie and Todd talk about our recent conference and some of the current activities taking place at the AHA, including ongoing legal cases and work being done with people at the U.S. State Department and elsewhere in Washington.

Dr. Sean M. Carroll

Dr. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Caltech in Pasadena, CA doing research on theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. He is especially interested in inflation, the arrow of time, and what happened at or before the Big Bang.

In this interview, which took place before Dr. Carroll’s keynote speech at the American Humanist Association 72nd Annual Conference, he talks about issues ranging from his upbringing and education to research having to do with the Big Bang, quantum mechanics, the Higgs Boson, the idea of the multiverse, morality, the Large Hadron Collider, Hollywood movies where he’s been consulted, and more.

Dr. Carroll has done work on dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, topological defects, extra dimensions, and violations of fundamental symmetries. His latest book is The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Higgs Boson Leads us to the Edge of a New World. It’s about the Large Hadron Collider, the search for the Higgs Boson, and the people who made it happen.

As an author, he has also written From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time and a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity. He has recorded lectures for the Teaching Company on Dark Matter and Dark Energy and the Mysteries of Time. He has maintained a popular blog since 2004.

Links from this month’s episode:

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Music from this month’s episode (in order of appearance):