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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, theoretical physicist among Sinai Forum speakers

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, theoretical physicist among Sinai Forum speakers

MSNBC political commentator Joe Scarborough, who has recently made headlines after being attacked by the president and leaving the GOP, is among the speakers of this year's Sinai Forum lecture series.

The 64th season of the Purdue University Northwest Sinai Forum features Scarborough, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, presidential historian Jon Meacham, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar and ProPublica reporter David Epstein.

The speakers will take face-to-face questions in town-hall style forums throughout the fall semester at the Purdue University Northwest's James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the PNW Westville Campus at 1401 S. U.S. 421. 

On Sept. 10, the university will host Scarborough, a host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and former U.S. congressman who's been named to the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people and one of Vanity Fair's top power players in the media.

"As popular on stage as he is on TV, Scarborough brings the same energy to his speeches as he does his morning show," Purdue University Northwest said in a news release. "With his off-the-cuff commentary, he offers a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the current political and media landscape and the headlines of the day."

On Sept. 24, Riley will discuss his thesis that government efforts to help the African-American underclass have not been effective. He's a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a Fox News commentator whose written several books.

On Oct. 15, Krauss "will tell the story of the discovery of the hidden world of reality – a grand poetic vision of nature – and how humans find their place in it" in a talk entitled "The Greatest Story Ever Told," according to a news release.

The New York Times best-selling author and public intellectual has written 10 books, including “The Physics of Star Trek” and “A Universe from Nothing."

"Krauss blends research and storytelling to reveal the lives and minds of the remarkable, creative scientists who helped unravel the fabric of reality, using reason rather than superstition and dogma, to understand why we exist in a universe where fact is stranger than fiction," Purdue University Northwest said in a news release.

On Oct 29, Meacham will give the talk "Understanding Trump: A Historical Perspective."

The Pulitzer Prize winner, who's written for Times and the New York Times Book Review" will talk about how the country is in “uncharted American waters."

"Meacham takes a nonpartisan view of the populist fervor that ascended Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office," Purdue University Northwest said in the news release. "Meacham has studied the president as he continues to break precedent on issues from his combination of public and private interests to his use of social media."

On Nov. 12, Kolhatkar will discuss her book “Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street."

The former hedge fund analyst wrote about the hedge fund industry and the history's largest insider trading investigation.

"A lively, insightful speaker, Kolhatkar will discuss the rise of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers during the past two decades which marked a singular shift in the American economic and political landscape, culminating in the election of President Donald Trump and the unprecedented wealth of his cabinet members," Purdue University Northwest said in the news release.

Finally, on Dec. 3, Epstein will discuss his book "The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance" about athletic success, the 10,000-hour rule, the nature vs. nurture debate and the nature of athleticism.

"As a writer covering science, medicine, sports and frequently combining all three in the same project, he will share how his research led him to tell the story 'The DIY Scientist, the Olympian, and the Mutated Gene,'" Purdue University Northwest said in a news release. "He will share the story of Jill Viles, a muscular dystrophy patient who had a theory that she and Olympic sprinter Priscilla Lopes-Schliep shared the same gene mutation, a theory that led to significant research and exploration with biotech companies offering to study Viles’ genome for scientific discovery."

Book signings follow most of the programs, which all begin at 4 p.m. with doors opening at 3 p.m.

Regular season tickets for all six programs are $100. High school and college students with ID cards can get in for free.

To buy tickets, visit or The Lubeznik Center for the Arts at 101 W. Second St. in Michigan City; Kabelin Hardware at 512 Andrew Ave. in La Porte; or the Porter County Community Foundation at 1401 Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso.


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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