Ethan was born in New York City as the son of a Jewish postal worker. He did his undergrad at Northwestern, taught public school in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, before moving to Florida, where he got his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of Florida. After that, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin, ate too much cheese, and also met his life partner, Jamie. After working in astrophysics research at the University of Arizona and starting the world-renowned science blog, Starts With A Bang, he moved from the hellish desert to rain-soaked Portland in 2008. Since then, he's been a professor at the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, grown a nationally renowned beard and mustache, got invited to join a circus and probably drank more beer than a healthy person should. He currently works as the head curator at Trapit, and can't wait to tell you a little bit more about the Universe.

“Teaching man his relatively small sphere in the creation, it also encourages him by its lessons of the unity of Nature and shows him that his power of comprehension allies him with the great intelligence over-reaching all.” -Annie Jump Cannon A look up at the stars in the night sky shows a clear distinction: some…

Science is what made America great (Synopsis)

“Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson hated each other so much. But that hate that they had for each other did not come before the love of their country.” -David Scott You can’t make America great ‘again’ without looking at what made us great in the first place. It wasn’t industry or manufacturing or our morals…

“We conducted the first fully blind, three-dimensional search for cool gas in the early universe. Through this, we discovered a population of galaxies that is not clearly evident in any other deep surveys of the sky.” -Chris Carilli The Hubble Ultra Deep Field and its successor images represent humanity’s deepest views of the stars in…

“To study things from a scientific standpoint means to take an inventory of them—to find the process in which they are being produced; to connect them with other things; to see things in their causal process. ” -William Harris As is pretty much always the case, it’s been a big week here at Starts With A…

“Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” -Star Trek, in many incarntions When Star Trek debuted 50 years ago, we didn’t know that there would be regions of the Universe that were forever inaccessible to humanity, nor…

“Between cold fusion and respectable science there is virtually no communication at all. …because the Cold-Fusioners see themselves as a community under siege, there is little internal criticism. Experiments and theories tend to be accepted at face value, for fear of providing even more fuel for external critics, if anyone outside the group was bothering…

What is the physics of nothing? (Synopsis)

“Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness. I have to bang my head against some hard door to call myself back to the body.” -Virginia Woolf If you think about the Universe, what it is today, what…

“All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence.” -Sylvia Plath Even on the darkest night skies from the most pristine locations on Earth, the night sky is never truly dark. Not even if you look away from the plane of the galaxy, on a moonless night, between the stars and away from any human-made or…

“Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can’t construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.” -John Polkinghorne What is the Universe? What are those points of light in the night sky? Are there other Suns…

“It may be that ultimately the search for dark matter will turn out to be the most expensive and largest null result experiment since the Michelson-Morley experiment, which failed to detect the ether.” -John Moffat Dark matter is a puzzle that’s now more than 80 years old: the presence of all the known, observable, detectable…