Dr. Michael Turner makes a “big bang” in the world of theoretical cosmology. Translation: He’s an expert on the universe—what it’s made of, what’s in its future, and how it came to be. Turner is the Rauner Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. From 2003 until 2006, was Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences for the National Science Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Turner is most well-known for having coined the phrase “dark energy” in 1998, which he calls “very, very mysterious stuff.” Thought to comprise 70 percent of the universe, dark energy is responsible for both the expansion of the universe and the increasing speed at which that expansion is occurring. Another five percent of the universe is atoms, and the remaining twenty-five percent is “dark matter”—what Turner calls “the cosmic infrastructure of the universe.” The universe, he adds, has largely “been a battle between the two dark titans: dark energy and dark matter.” “He [Turner] is able to explain the deepest issues in cosmology with a rare clarity and elegance,” says IHMC Director Ken Ford. “His research focuses on the earliest moments of creation.” With Chicago cosmologist Rocky Kolb, Turner co-wrote the well-known book “The Early Universe.” https://www.ihmc.us/amazon/ More information on Turner can be found here: https://kicp.uchicago.edu/people/profile/michael_turner.html and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Turner_(cosmologist). Turner’s 2011 IHMC lecture, “The Dark Side of the Universe,” can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rVBLwKuDXA. Turner was also a guest on STEM-Talk for an earlier episode for his interview on the discovery of gravitational waves: https://www.ihmc.us/stemtalk/episode006/. Turner is interviewed by regular STEM-Talk host Dawn Kernagis and guest host Tom Jones, a veteran NASA astronaut and senior research scientist at IHMC.