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Rebecca Newberger Goldstein  

Philosopher and Author

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is a novelist and philosopher. Her novels include "The Mind-Body Problem," "The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind," "Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics," and her latest, "36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction" (Pantheon Books).

In 1996 Goldstein became a MacArthur Fellow. In 2005 she was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship. In 2008, she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Emerson College, where she gave the commencement address.

Goldstein has taught at Barnard College, in the Columbia MFA writing program, and in the department of philosophy at Rutgers; has been a visiting scholar at Brandeis University; and has taught for five years as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2006-2007 she was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Guggenheim Fellow. Currently she is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University.

Speech Topics


God and Current Events

Why has religion suddenly burst onto the American public square, with Religionists and Secularists arguing over everything from the educational requirements in public schools to the nature of morality?

Science vs. Religion

Can science and religion be reconciled, or is there a fundamental tension between them? If atheists have the best arguments, why does religion still function as such an important source of meaning, comfort, and self-identity in so many lives?

A Match Made in Science

Rebecca and her husband, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists, have been called "the brainiest power couple in America" by Salon magazine. Hear from Rebecca on how they weave their separate and intensely academic professional lives into a shared personal life.

Truth in Fiction

Goldstein discusses the difference between writing nonfiction and fiction. How much reality is found in fiction, and specifically in her book 36 Arguments for the Existence of God.

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