Abrams, Nancy

Nancy Abrams


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Nancy Ellen Abrams is the co-author (with cosmologist Joel Primack) of The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos and The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World.  She has a bachelor’s degree in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Chicago, a law degree from the University of Michigan, and a diploma in international law from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City. She has a long-term interest in the role of science in shaping a new politics and has worked in this area for a European environmental think tank in Rome, the Ford Foundation, and the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, where she co-invented (with Prof. R. Stephen Berry of the University of Chicago) a novel procedure called “Scientific Mediation,” which permits government agencies to make intelligent policy decisions in areas where the underlying science is crucial yet uncertain and controversial. With Primack, she has co-authored numerous articles on science policy, space policy, and the possible cultural implications of modern cosmology. Recent ones are posted on their joint website. “Cosmology and Culture,” the course she and Primack developed and teach at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has received awards from both the Templeton Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. In their attempt to bring the modern universe to the public, Abrams and Primack have spoken at more than a hundred venues around the world, including universities, the Senate Chamber of France, and the U.S. Treasury.