And other tidbits from astrophysicist Paul Sutter's new book

Paul Sutter is determined to make people love science as much as he does. For this, he takes a multipronged approach. 

There’s his day job: cosmological researcher and community outreach coordinator for the Department of Astronomy at Ohio State University. He’s also the chief scientist at COSI, a role that requires him to educate children of all ages. He hosts the popular Ask a Spaceman! podcast, in which he tackles weighty subjects like gravity. His most recent effort is his new book, “Your Place in the Universe: Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence” (Prometheus Books), which came out in November.

“The book exists because people love space, but they don’t necessarily love science,” Sutter says. “What I’m trying to do with this book is tell stories—the stories of our universe, how we fit in—so that people get a sense of how science works.” 

The book explains the cosmos in the trademark breezy yet smart tone that has helped Sutter’s quest to position himself as a burgeoning pop scientist. The topics get pretty dense, literally, including the big bang (not a theory!), black holes and the origins of it all. But his writing is approachable, as he promises in his prologue: “I’m doing my best to hit the right level between blow-your-mind and hold-your-hand.”