Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Book and travel update

The French translation of my book “Lost in Math” has now appeared under the title “Lost in Maths: Comment la beauté égare la physique”.

The Spanish translation has now also now appeared under the title “Perdidos en las matemáticas: Cómo la belleza confunde a los físicos.” I don’t speak Spanish, but for all I can tell, the title is a literal translation.

On Thursday (May 23rd) I am giving a public lecture in Barcelona. The lecture, it turns out, will be simultaneously translated into Spanish. This, I think, will be an interesting experience.

The next talks I have scheduled are a colloquium in Mainz, Germany, on June 11, and a public lecture in Groningen, Netherlands, on June 21st. The public lecture is associated with the workshop “Probabilities in Cosmology” at the University of Groningen.

I declined the invitation to the Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau because I was informed they would only cover my travel expenses if I agree in advance to write about their meeting for a 3rd party. (If you get pitches about the meeting, please ask the author for a COI.)

After some back and forth, I accepted the invitation to SciFoo 2019, mostly because I couldn’t think of a way to justify declining it even to myself.

The fall is filling up too. The current plan looks roughly like this: On September 21st, I am giving a public lecture in Nürnberg. Early October I am in Brussels for a workshop. Mid of October I am giving a public lecture at the University of Minnesota. (I have not yet booked the flight for this trip. So if you want me to stop by at your institution for a lecture on the way, please get in touch asap.) End of October I am giving a lecture in Göttingen, and the first week of November I am in Potsdam and, again, in Berlin.

From November on, I will be unemployed, at least that is what it presently looks like. Or maybe I should say I will be fully self-employed. Either way, I will have to think of some other way to earn money than doing calculations in Anti-DeSitter space.

Finally, here is the usual warning that I am traveling for the rest of the week and comments on this blog will be stuck in the moderation queue longer than usual.


  1. Thank you for the news. I have read your book last year but I know some people who were waiting for the French translation.

    (and for those who are not using Kindle, the electronic version is also available here: https://www.kobo.com/fr/fr/ebook/lost-in-maths)

  2. I know a little German and more Spanish. The translation is "Lost in the mathematics."

  3. Have a nice time on your book promotion. Sorry to hear that you will be unemployed.

  4. Hi Sabine,

    The public lecture that you'll be delivering in Barcelona this coming Thursday, May 23rd, will actually be (according to the linked webpage for the event) simultaneously translated into Catalan, which is a language different from Spanish. From the webpage ShBarcelona.com:

    "Catalan is a Romance language like Spanish but is not a subset of Spanish itself. In fact, Catalan as a language is closer to French and Italian than Spanish or Portuguese. [...] In Barcelona, visitors can hear both languages spoken consistently in different settings."

    So you'll be the delivering a lecture in English, promoting the Spanish language release of your book "Lost in Math", which will be simultaneously translated into Catalan. Moreover, you will undoubtedly have to field questions from the audience in all three languages! As you say, this will probably prove to be a most interesting experience, but I'm sure that you'll come through with flying colours! I only wish I could be there to see your performance.... :-(

  5. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for pointing out. I didn't realize that's a separate language.

  6. Best of luck on your future occupation in physics. But then luck occurs faster if you create a substrate for it to strike.

  7. Hi Sabine, any date for the italian version of Lost in Math? It would be a nice present for some relatives.

    thanks, Andrea

    1. Andrea,

      I don't know, sorry. But I also didn't know the publication dates of the French and Spanish versions. I also didn't actually get a copy of the books.

      I am sitting on an Italian tax form that I am supposed to fill in, so I assume it won't be too long.

  8. Your Stuttgart video is approaching a quarter million views...how common is that for German language YouTube videos on science?

    Your presumed upcoming unemployment raises some serious questions about the group think phenomenon in fundamental physics and how it deals with critics.

    1. Tanner,

      I have no idea what is going on with that video, really. Seriously, it's not *that* interesting!

      If you want to know how common it is, look at the other videos that the university has uploaded for comparison. The one with the highest view count, for all I can see, is Harald Lesch's, which is at 450k or so. Lesch is basically the German Brian Cox.

    2. Oops,
      Just checked the weather
      for Barcelona.

      maybe better to focus
      on the wine.

      All the best.

  9. Hi Sabine, I started following your posts in the recent years after beeing a long time reader of Peter Woit's. Keep up the good work of keeping us informed of all the latest discussions, developments (and shortcomings) in theoretical and experimental physics.

    Do you have an EU-wide publisher and is there a chance we get your book published in Greek? I'd like to see the ideas of "Lost in Math" spreading in Greece too.

    I believe there is a healthy interest in popular science books in Greece. Although sometimes Greeks opt with more sensationalistic titles. For instance an edition of Lee Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics" published with a title translated as "Superstrings: All ..or Nothing?"

    Also, have you ever made your way south and given a talk in Greece or are you planning to?

    1. Technomagos,

      No Greek publisher has expressed interest, so it presently looks like there will not be a Greek translation, sorry. If you know a publisher who might be interested, tell them to get in touch with me (or better, with my agent).

      I have not gotten any invitations to Greece, so I have no plans giving a lecture there.

  10. Hi, SABINE !!!
    I'm sure your lecture
    in Barcelona
    went well today.!
    what do you think ?
    (I always like to hear Your
    opinion/ critique).
    Hopefully I can see it soon.

    - Wishing you well in your

    - and don't forget to
    take some time (if poss.)
    to try the wine
    and 'Basque' in the sun.

  11. Hi Sabine,

    I'm sad to hear the news about
    Murray Gell-Mann.

    Perhaps you could post
    something and readers
    could comment.

    All Love,


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