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Big Time: James Gleick


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It’s easy to forget that when H.G. Wells wrote The Time Machine back in 1895, the notion of travelling through time was a totally fresh and radical leap of imagination. ‘When Wells in his lamp-lit room imagined a time machine,’ writes the acclaimed American science writer James Gleick, ‘he also invented a new mode of thought.’

Time Travel: A History is the latest book by Gleick, the author of the hugely influential Chaos: Making a New Science, which popularised the idea of ‘the butterfly effect’, as well as many other outstanding works of popular science. The new book takes a sweeping look at the history of time travel in culture, science, technology and philosophy. With style, humour and rigour, Gleick illuminates surprising links between the notion of time travel and the industrial revolution, the literary modernists and archeological discoveries.

What does our preoccupation with the idea of time travel say about us as a species? And about the idea of time itself? Come and hear this remarkable polymath wax scientific about Wells and wormholes; outer space and cyberspace; the past, present and future.

Presented in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Carlton Connect Initiative.


James Gleick

James Gleick was born in New York and began his career in journalism, working as an editor and reporter for the New York Times. He covered science and technology there, chronicling the rise of the Internet as the Fast Forward columnist, and in 1993 founded an Internet startup company called The Pipe... Read more

George Aranda

Dr George Aranda is a Lecturer in Science Education at Deakin University. He teaches and conducts research in Science Education, Science Communication and Technologies Education. He is interested in how blogs, narrative and books can be used to promote science engagement. He is the curator of S... Read more


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