Masters in Business

Brian Greene on Science and the Universe

A discussion of science, the universe and why there's anything and not nothing.

This week on our Masters in Business radio podcast, we sit down with Brian Greene, who runs the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Columbia University, and is the organizer of New York City’s 10th annual World Science Festival, which begins today. He is the author of numerous books on cosmology, including "The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory."

Greene’s gift is an ability to communicate complex issues of cosmology and physics in a way that is accessible to the layperson. Our conversation covers time, space and the universe, including the Big Bang theory, how time is experienced in Einstein’s relativity, the fabric of space and the impact of gravity -- and why there even is anything, and not nothing.

Greene is impressed with the way that science constantly tests its own hypotheses over time. He notes that every concept, from Newtonian physics to Einstein’s relativity to Witten’s string theories, have undergone peer review, comment and criticism. He also explains how the annual World Science Festival came about, and why science should be part of everyone’s life.

You can stream or download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesSoundCloudOvercast and Bloomberg. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundCloud and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with William Sharpe, Nobel Prize laureate who created the capital-asset pricing model and a method for calculating risk-adjusted return that has become known as the Sharpe ratio.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Barry Ritholtz at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    James Greiff at

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.