Randall Munroe at Sanders Theatre


What If? 2:
Additional Serious Scientific Answers
to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

in conversation with JONATHAN ZITTRAIN


September 13, 2022
7:00 PM ET
(Doors at 6:00)


Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138


$34 - $44 (depending on seat location) - book included - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome RANDALL MUNROE—creator of the beloved webcomic xkcd and #1 New York Times bestselling author of What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions—for a discussion of the highly anticipated sequel, What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. He will be joined in conversation by JONATHAN ZITTRAIN—author and professor of law and professor of computer science at Harvard University.


Tickets go on sale Friday, August 19 at noon through the Harvard Box Office only:

Ticket prices range from $34 to $44, based on seat location. Each ticket includes a copy of What If? 2 by Randall Munroe. These copies of the book may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Sanders Theatre events until further notice:

  • All attendees are encouraged to wear masks. Performers may be unmasked.
  • All attendees must attest to their current health status (e.g., no current infection, symptoms or recent exposure to others with COVID-19)
  • All attendees must self-attest to the following:
  1. I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO and have received my booster (if eligible), or
  2. I qualify for exemption based upon age, a medical contraindication, or firmly held religious belief.
  3. I also agree to immediately share with Harvard University Health Services any proof of my vaccination status if I am identified as an exposed person through public health contact tracing efforts.
  4. If not fully vaccinated, I have received a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result in the last 24 hours.

For more information regarding Harvard University's Covid-19 safety protocols, please visit their website here

About What If? 2

The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the Moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.

Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Munroe consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airliner catapult–design to answer his readers’ questions, clearly and concisely, with illuminating and occasionally terrifying illustrations. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.

Praise for What If? 2

“A delight for science geeks with a penchant for oddball thought experiments.” —Kirkus

Jonathan Zittrain
Jonathan Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain

Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law and professor of computer science at Harvard University, where he co-founded the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He wrote The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It, and is working on its sequel, Well, We Tried.

Randall Munroe
Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe is the author of the number one New York Times bestsellers What If? and What If? 2, How To, and Thing Explainer; the science question-and-answer blog What If?; and the popular web comic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full time. He lives in Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Adrianne Mathiowetz

Tickets go on sale Friday, August 19 at noon. Each ticket includes a copy of What If? 2 by Randall Munroe.

Tickets are available through the Harvard Box Office only: in person at the Smith Campus Center, over the phone at 617.496.2222, or online at https://www.boxoffice.harvard.edu/.

Box Office Location and Hours:
Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center)
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138
Hours: 12PM-5PM, Tuesday through Friday
Closed Saturday - Monday and some holidays.

Ticket Inquiry Contact:

Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 5 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. Take a left on Quincy St. and walk two blocks. Memorial Hall will be the large red brick building on your left side. Sanders Theatre is the main auditorium in Memorial Hall.

Event Series: Harvard Science Book Talks

The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here

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