Isaac Arthur, ’01

Isaac Arthur, ’01, turned a hobby and love of space into a full-time career as a YouTube sensation

Isaac Arthur began his collegiate journey at Kent State Ashtabula, building on his mother’s Golden Flash legacy. Though he was only 16 at the time, he excelled and came to the Kent Campus two years later. When he earned his degree at 20, the physics department gifted him a copy of Richard Feynman’s lectures for graduating highest in his class. Isaac is also a veteran and the president of the National Space Society, but he is perhaps best known for his YouTube channel “Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur,” which has 767,000 subscribers and more than 600 videos. When Isaac began posting videos about futurism and science on YouTube in 2014, he had no idea where it would lead. But as he continued to gain subscribers to his channel, he realized there was a large community that was interested in these topics that meld science and science fiction, challenging viewers to push the bounds of what’s possible now and in the future. In 2020, he received the Space Pioneer Award from the National Space Society for Education via Mass Media. Three years later, Isaac was elected president of the organization. In this role, he primarily works to raise awareness and increase interest in science and space among all communities, with a special focus on underserved and underrepresented groups. He uses the same philosophy for his YouTube channel and presidential outreach - if you respect other people’s intelligence and find a way to make them care about what you’re teaching, they will surprise you. Get to know Isaac in his own words.

KSU: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
IA: Coffee and a new book on my balcony on a sunny Saturday morning.

KSU: What is your favorite trait in others?
IA: Curiosity and integrity.

KSU: What trait about yourself do you like least?
IA: Grouchiness.

KSU: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
IA: My mother, Jean Arthur, '95, who gifted me a passion for learning at a young age.

KSU: What is your favorite Kent State memory?
IA: Hosting board game nights on my floor in Leebrick Dormitory as a RA (Resident Assistant).

KSU: What is your favorite journey?
IA: Into the pages of a good story.

KSU: What is your guilty pleasure?
IA: Pasta.

KSU: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
IA: Professionally, growing one of the largest science channels online and becoming the president of the National Space Society, and personally, marrying my wife Sarah and adopting our three children.

KSU: If you could come back as one person, who would it be and why?
IA: Benjamin Franklin because he was my biggest historical role model and lived in interesting times. Richard Feynman would be a close second and for the same reasons.

KSU: What part of your college experience most formed who you are today?
IA: I had a number of fantastic mentors and study-buddies in our physics department. They kept me challenged and helped shape my fledgling enthusiasm for science into a lifelong passion. That also helped me develop the willpower, patience, critical thinking and mental endurance that was life-saving for my time in the military during the Iraq War, and in so many other ventures afterward.



POSTED: Thursday, November 30, 2023 04:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 11:39 AM