Ms. Goldstein graduated from Barnard College and received her PhD in philosophy from Princeton University. She is the author of nine books, including the novels The Mind-Body Problem (1983); The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind (1989); The Dark Sister (1993), which received the Whiting Writer’s Award; Mazel (1995), which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award; Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics (2000); and 36 Arguments for the Existence of God (2010). She has also written a short story collection, Strange Attractors (1993), and the nonfiction works Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (2005), deemed one of the best books of the year by Discover magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Sun; and Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave Us Modernity (2006), which received the Koret International Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought.
Ms. Goldstein has taught at Barnard, Columbia, Rutgers, and Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has received Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships and in 1996 was a MacArthur Fellow. In 2008 the International Academy of Humanism named her Humanist Laureate; in 2011 she was designated Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association and Free-thought Heroine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. She delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Yale that same year.
The Franke Visiting Scholars and Artists Program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Franke of Chicago. The creation of this special residential fellowship is intended to ensure ongoing interdisciplinary exchange and creative debate at the Whitney in particular and at Yale in general. The Frankes also endowed an annual series of lectures and seminars at the Whitney, which present enduring topics in the humanities to Yale undergraduates and to the broader New Haven community.