An issue on time would not be complete without a conversation with Lee Smolin. High school dropout, theoretical physicist, and founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, Smolin’s life and work reflect many of the values of this magazine. Constantly probing the edges of physics, he has also pushed beyond them, into economics and the philosophy of science, and into popular writing. Not one to shy away from a confrontation, his 2008 book The Trouble with Physics took aim at string theory, calling one of the hottest developments in theoretical physics of the past 50 years a dead end. In his thinking on time too, he has taken a different tack from the mainstream, arguing that the flow of time is not just real, but more fundamental than physical law.