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On the shoulders of Giants with Kenna Hughes-Castleberry and Brian Lenahan

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April 17, 2023
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Kenna Hughes-Castleberry, Science Journalist and Writer for Inside Quantum Technology, and Brian Lenahan, Founder and Chair of the Quantum Strategy Institute, are interviewed by Yuval.

Read the full transcript or listen to the episode at the Quantum Computing Report site here

Here are the key points:

  • Introduction and Background: Brian Lenahan introduces himself as the founder and chair of the Quantum Strategy Institute. Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is a science journalist who writes for Inside Quantum Technology and works at JILA, a physics research institute. They have collaborated on a book that highlights lesser-known but impactful figures in the fields of quantum physics, mechanics, and mathematics.
  • Book's Focus: The book aims to shed light on 10 unsung heroes in the quantum realm, specifically focusing on individuals from diverse backgrounds and different parts of the world. These are not the mainstream figures like Einstein or Feynman but rather people who have made significant contributions yet remain relatively unknown.
  • Historical Perspective: The book covers figures dating back to 800 CE, emphasizing the historical context of these individuals. While contemporary figures in quantum science are exciting, the book deliberately focuses on deceased pioneers to provide a historical perspective.
  • Project Genesis: Brian initially started sharing stories of these lesser-known figures on platforms like LinkedIn and Substack. Realizing the potential for a book, he teamed up with Kenna, an expert in science communication, to bring these stories to life.
  • Selection Criteria: The individuals featured in the book are all deceased, and the authors made an effort to include figures from around the world. However, they found it challenging to find well-documented stories from continents like Africa and South America.
  • Gender Diversity: The book aims for gender balance and includes stories of pioneering women in the field, such as Betty Holberton and Debbie Jin, to serve as role models.
  • Global Relevance: The book also features scientists like Sin-Itiro Tomonaga from Japan and Pantur Silaban from Indonesia, highlighting the global nature of quantum advancements and the varying levels of recognition these scientists receive based on their geographical location.
  • Personal Stories: The book doesn't shy away from discussing the personal lives and challenges of these figures, aiming to present them as complete individuals rather than just their scientific achievements.
  • Common Traits: One commonality among these "quantum giants" is their passion and perseverance. Despite facing numerous obstacles and rejections, they continued to pursue their goals, contributing significantly to the field of quantum science.
  • Collaborative Writing: Both authors emphasized how well they worked together, despite having different writing styles. They aimed for a cohesive narrative that would engage readers while educating them about the early years of quantum physics and the people who have shaped it.

Read the full transcript or listen to the episode at the Quantum Computing Report site here

Listen to the podcast or read the transcript


Kenna Hughes-Castleberry
Science communicator
Brian Lenahan
Founder and Chaieman, Quantum Strategy Institute
Listen to the podcast or read the transcript

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