MIT Science Writer Marcia Bartusiak to Speak at Williams College

Media contact: Williams’s Michele Rech 413.597.2482 or [email protected], or BART’s Leah Thompson 413.743.7311 x708, or [email protected].

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 16, 2018—Renowned MIT science writer Marcia Bartusiak will deliver a lecture, “Dispatches from Planet 3,” at Williams College. The lecture which covers a range of astronomy topics, will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m., in the Thompson Physics and Astronomy Laboratory, room 205. The lecture is free and open to the public. A book-signing will follow.

Bartusiak will be highlighting a few of the topics in her latest book Dispatches from Planet 3, which was written to take a current astronomical discovery and provide its backstory. News of water on Mars sparks a discussion of Percival Lowell, who championed the idea of watery canals being built by intelligent creatures on the red planet. Light will also be shone on other pioneers, such as Beatrice Tinsley, the Darwin of astronomy, who did groundbreaking work on galaxy evolution; Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the astronomer who discovered neutron stars; and a few astronomers, whose names have up to now been left out of the textbooks, who made formidable contributions on the expanding universe and the Big Bang.

Professor of the Practice of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bartusiak is known internationally for her many award-winning books and articles on astronomy and the nature of the universe. Her latest book, Dispatches from Planet 3, is a volume of collected essays. Other books include The Day We Found the Universe, Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, and Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved. Two of her books have been designated by the The New York Times as Notable Books

Bartusiak also writes the column “Cosmic Background” for Natural History magazine and continues to write for such national publications as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Science, Popular Science, and Technology Review. She has received various awards and recognitions, including the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and the History of Science Society’s Davis Prize. In 2008 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bartusiak received her B.A. in communications from American University in Washington, D.C. As a reporter for four years in Norfolk, Va., with assignments at the NASA Langley Research Center, she discovered science writing and obtained a master’s degree in physics from Old Dominion University.

Bartusiak’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School (BART), the Williams College Department of Astronomy, and Williams College’s Hopkins Observatory. For questions about the lecture, please contact Williams’s Michele Rech 413.597.2482 or [email protected], or BART’s Leah Thompson 413.743.7311 x708, or [email protected].


The lecture will be in the Thompson Physics and Astronomy Laboratory on the Adam Falk Science Quad, 33 Lab Campus Drive. A map of campus buildings can be found on the web at

BART Charter Public School is a nationally recognized, award-winning, tuition-free, public middle and high school focused on preparing students for college. In 2015, US News & World Report ranked BART the 7th best high school in Massachusetts. To date, 100% of BART’s graduates have passed a college course and have been accepted into college prior to graduation. BART does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications 413-597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at