Astrophysicist Mario Livio works with science the Hubble Space Telescope makes possible. He is not a religious person. But he's fascinated with the enduring mystery of the very language of science, mathematics.

An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.

A classic comic on faith in equations. "You take two numbers and when you add them, they magically become one new number!"

Video of a Seed salon with Janna Levin and fiction writer Jonathon Lethem.


Is math a basic need we intuit like hunger, thirst, and love?