The Veritas Forum at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
March 11-14, 2009
World-class concert pianist
Mia Chung is a world-class concert pianist, described by the New York Times as "Uncommonly insightful, individualistic, lively" and "technically dazzling". In 1997, she received the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the highest recognition for young concert artists in the United States and her debut recording on the Channel Classics label was selected as "Best of the Year".
An active recitalist, known for her combinations of performance and engaging talk, Mia has performed in major concert halls around the world. Chosen as an Artistic Ambassador by the United States Information Agency in 1993, Ms. Chung toured Thailand, Singapore, Tonga and the former Soviet Union, becoming the first American pianist to perform in Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan and Turkmenistan.
Mia grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received a master's degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the Juilliard School. Mia is currently Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Gordon College.
Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University
Gerald Gabrielse has been a Professor of Physics at Harvard University since 1987 and chaired the physics department from 2000-2003. He has given nearly 345 invited talks at scientific conferences and university colloquia, and is the author of more than 135 scientific publications.
Gabrielse has been honored by Harvard, both for his teaching and for his research. In 2000, his "Reality Physics" course for non-science students earned him the Harvard's Levenson Teaching Award for exceptional undergraduate teaching by senior faculty. In 2004, Gabrielse received Harvard's George Ledlie Prize for his scientific accomplishment of creating and observing antimatter atoms -- a prize awarded every two years to someone affiliated with the University who "has by research, discovery or otherwise made the most valuable contribution to science, or in any way for the benefit of mankind."
Gabrielse’s physics research activities are currently focused upon antihydrogen experiments, upon measuring the electron magnetic moment and the fine structure constant, and upon precise laser spectroscopy of helium.
Award-winning saxophonist and Conference Director for the International Arts Movement
Kevin Gosa is a progressive saxophonist and two-time co-recipient of the DownBeat Magazine Award for Best Collegiate Instrumental Chamber Ensemble. He challenges people’s preconceptions about how the saxophone should sound and what it should play, by performing what is generally considered 'classical' music in places where it's not often heard. Based in New York, Kevin has performed at The Knitting Factory, the Bitter End, the Joyce SOHO, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Stain Bar, as well as Grace Church Van Vorst and the Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City. Kevin has turned his attention recently to composition. One of his original compositions for solo saxaphone – “The Number One” – will be of particular interest to students at MIT!
Kevin received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Saxophone from the University of Kansas. He is an active member of and Membership/Conference Director for the International Arts Movement, attends the Village Church; enjoys writing poetry; and ran the 2007 ING New York City Marathon in just over 4 hours. For a little extra fun, Kevin plays guitar, bass guitar, and mandolin.
Assistant Professor of Religion, Princeton University
Eric Gregory joined the faculty of Princeton in 2001. His teaching and research interests include religious and philosophical ethics, theology, political theory, bioethics, and the role of religion in public life. In 2007 he was awarded Princeton's President's Award for Distinguished Teaching. A graduate of Harvard College, he did graduate studies in theology at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received his doctorate in religious studies from Yale University. He is the author of Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship (Chicago, 2008), and various articles on religion and social ethics, including “Before the Original Position: The Neo-Orthodox Theology of the Young John Rawls” (Journal of Religious Ethics, 2007). He has received fellowships from the Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame, the Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His current project examines secular and religious perspectives on global justice in light of the reception history of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School
John Hare is a British classicist, ethicist, and currently Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School. Educated at Oxford and Princeton, he was Professor of Philosophy at Lehigh University from 1975 to 1989. He was Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College from 1989 to 2003. He has been Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University since 2003.
Hare's best-known book, The Moral Gap, develops an account of the need for God's assistance in meeting the moral demand of which God is the source. In God's Call he discusses the divine command theory of morality, analyzing texts in Duns Scotus, Kant and contemporary moral theory. In Why Bother Being Good? he gives a non-technical treatment of the questions, 'Can we be morally good?' and 'Why should we be morally good?'. He has also written a commentary on Plato's Euthyhphro in the Bryn Mawr series, and Ethics and International Affairs, with Carey B. Joynt. His interests extend to ancient philosophy, medieval Franciscan philosophy, Kant, Kierkegaard, contemporary ethical theory, the theory of the atonement, medical ethics and international relations (he has worked in a teaching hospital and for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives) and aesthetics (he is a published composer of church music).
Ian Hutchinson, Moderator
Head of Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Robert Randolph, Panel Moderator
Chaplain to the Institute, MIT
Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University
Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He first became internationally known after the publication of Animal Liberation in 1975, which had a significant impact on the Animal Rights Movement. Singer has been described by The New Yorker as “the most influential living philosopher” and named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His work dealing with ethics and aspects of human life has generated intense debate within the academy as well as in the wider community.
Singer was educated at the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford and has taught at the University of Oxford, La Trobe University and Monash University. He was the founding President of the International Association of Bioethics and, with Helga Kuhse, founding co-editor of the journal Bioethics. His many books include: Democracy and Disobedience; Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; Marx; Hegel; The Reproduction Revolution, Should the Baby Live?, How Are We to Live?, Rethinking Life and Death; One World; Pushing Time Away; The President of Good and Evil; and, with Jim Mason, The Ethics of What We Eat. His latest publication is entitled The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.