2010 Interfaith Dialogue » Keynote Speaker

Compassion in Daily Practice: Exploring Common Ground
University of the West | Saturday, March 13, 2010 | 9:00am-5:00pm

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Creator and Host, Closer To Truth
Chairman, The Kuhn Foundation

What Does It Mean to Get Closer To Truth?

Abstract: Closer To Truth: Cosmos, Consciousness, God—my PBS (public television series)—is a journey of exploration to discern best thinking about ultimate truth. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at length with over 120 of the world’s leading physicists, cosmologists, philosophers and theologians, asking all of them the hard questions of cosmos, consciousness and God. Born of irremediable passion for Big Questions, though with scant hope of finding Absolute Answers, Closer To Truth pushes long-standing boundaries and challenges conventional wisdom by seeking progress in discerning ultimate truth. This quest, which all human beings of all times share, I take seriously and address in two parts. First, the reality of human relations: recognizing that we differ radically, even violently, in our beliefs and belief systems, I ask how should we deal with one another? Second, the reality of ultimate existence: I seek a compendium of all possible explanations of existence, universally exhaustive but not necessarily mutually exclusive. The primary questions people pose—Why the universe? Does God exist?—are important, sure, but they are not bedrock fundamental. “Why anything at all?” is the ultimate question. Can we get closer to truth? My challenge is that I think we can.

Dr. Kuhn is a public intellectual, corporate strategist and international investment banker.  He is the author or editor of more than 25 books, including Closer To Truth: Challenging Current Belief; Closer To Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future; Made In China: Voices From the New Revolution; Dealmaker; The Library of Investment Banking; Handbook for Creative and Innovative Managers; and Frontiers in Creative and Innovative Management.

Dr. Kuhn is the creator and host of Closer To Truththe definitive TV series which explores fundamental issues of universe, brain/mind, religion, meaning and purpose through intimate, candid conversations with leading scientists, philosophers, scholars, theologians and creative thinkers of all kinds. It is the most complete, compelling, and accessible series on Cosmos, Consciousness and God ever produced for television.

For over 20 years, Dr. Kuhn has been advising the Chinese government on economic policy, mergers and acquisitions, science and technology, media and culture, and international communications, and he advises multinational corporations on their China strategies and transactions. He is the author of How China's Leaders Think: The Inside Story of China's Reform and What It Means for the Future, which features exclusive talks with over 100 Chinese leaders (John Wiley 2009), and The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, the first biography of a living Chinese leader to be published on the mainland and China's best-selling book in 2005.  

Dr. Kuhn has an A.B. in human biology (Johns Hopkins), a Ph.D. in anatomy / brain research (UCLA), and an M.S. in management (MIT). He has taught psychology/brain science at MIT and was adjunct professor (business and strategy) at NYU. He is a trustee of Claremont Graduate University and Senior Fellow at the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Kuhn is the Chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, which produces Closer To Truth and promotes good relations between America and China.

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