Alan Lightman is an American writer, physicist, and social entrepreneur. Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is currently professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. His essays and articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Salon, and many other publications. His novels include Einstein's Dreams, an international bestseller, and The Diagnosis: A Novel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Essays from his recent book The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew were chosen as best essays of the year by the New York Times and featured on NPR. In 2005, Lightman founded the Harpswell Foundation, whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia.