NC State physicist Katie Mack has been selected as a TED Fellow and will join a class of innovators from around the world to deliver a talk at the TED2020 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in April.
Mack, an assistant professor at the university, was honored for her work as theoretical cosmologist and scientific storyteller who unravels the connections between the smallest particles, the largest interstellar structures and the various ways the universe might end. “Knowledge of our cosmic fate,” she wrote in her application, “can alter perspectives on the universe, our lives and our legacy.”
Mack’s research investigates how the particle physics of dark matter, the mysterious invisible material that makes up most of the matter in the universe, can influence the evolution of stars and galaxies and the new observations that might result. She also works on topics related to the early universe, black holes, distant cosmic explosions known as fast radio bursts, and the formation of the first galaxies. Her recent work explores theories around the end of the universe, and her popular-level book on that topic, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking), will be published in June.
Mack’s popular writing has appeared in a number of major publications, such as Scientific American and Slate, and she is active on Twitter and other social media as @AstroKatie.
She is also a member of NC State’s Leadership in Public Science Cluster, an initiative to bring together scholars whose work includes engagement with the general public.
Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now has 492 Fellows from 99 countries. The program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. Fellows include scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors and journalists.
The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference; a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities; a Fellows Retreat; ongoing professional coaching and mentoring; dedicated PR coaching; and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network.