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Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff

Lisa Randall at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.

LISA RANDALL

Age 50

Occupation Author and professor of physics at Harvard University

Residence Cambridge

You give a lot of talks in front of your colleagues. Do you put a lot of thought into what you wear to work?

Actually, not that much. Probably when I first had job interviews I thought about it a little bit. But generally speaking, it’s not a big deal. If anything I tried to be as understated as possible.

But from the photos I’ve seen of you, it looks as if you have a great sense of personal style.

I really appreciate that. It was a conscious decision when I started doing more public speaking. I realized I’m going to be out there with people who don’t live in the same environment that I live in.

So you have a Jekyll-and-Hyde sense of style?

Well, at this point I just do more of what I want. But when I first got to Harvard, I went to a reception for new women faculty, and a friend afterward said, “I thought that was so cool that you wore jeans to this.” I hadn’t realized I had done anything out of the ordinary. I would say that I’ve always known a little about fashion, but I did try to avoid it. Then at some point, I stopped avoiding it.

Is that generally how people who work in science approach fashion?

It’s funny, I was just on a panel with a friend of mine, and somebody asked him a similar question. He said, “Well, if you look at someone who is badly dressed, he is more likely to be a scientist than a violinist.” — Christopher Muther

Interview has been condensed and edited. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.
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