An on-campus conference this weekend will use art and literature to translate the abstract and specialized aspects of science into a language regular people can understand.

Throngs of renowned scientists, journalists, writers and directors will arrive at UCSB at 8:15 this morning and stay until the evening of Saturday, March 5 for the “Science, Theatre, Audience, Reader: Theoretical Physics in Drama and Narratives” conference, called STAR ’05 for short. Visitors will listen to speeches, watch plays, and learn about how theoretical physics and cosmology is interpreted and represented by artists, writers and playwrights.

The conference will be co-hosted by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KTTP) and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) and will take place in different areas of campus including the Kavli Institute, the Humanities and Social Sciences Building and the UCSB Performing Arts Center. Events will include academic papers and panel discussions as well as dramatic performances and readings, such as Thursday’s opening talk from Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Alan Lightman, who will speak about his book Einstein’s Dreams.

Events on Friday will be restricted to registered conference participants, though Thursday morning and Saturday morning and afternoon talks will be free and open to the public. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The schedule of events is posted on the STAR ’05 website at