Quest Lifelong Learning Community - Continuing Education for Seniors in NYC

Fall 2021 Schedule / Science & Philosophy

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, see more details at the bottom of this page.


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Larry Shapiro

Our focus will be on how philosophy approaches particular issues, as opposed to an in-depth analysis of specific philosophers. A short reading will be assigned as preparation for each week’s discussion, but each class will start with a brief summary of the reading to allow some  participation by “drop-ins.”



Coordinators: Pete Weis, Jim Brook

This course continues with that which has become familiar in our everyday lives, for better or worse. The history of these inventions, as well as the impacts on our lives and on our planet, will be presented. And new this semester: inventions by women.


Coordinators: Sandy Kessler, Bob Gottfried

We will explore the controversial subject of race relations in America by considering some classic and contemporary writings by American political thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson, George Fitzhugh, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Isabel Wilkerson, and Glenn Loury. Questions for discussion include: Why was slavery a “monstrous injustice,” as Lincoln called it? How did Southerners defend the institution? What is the legacy of slavery? How does it shape American life today? How can we now best achieve racial justice and reconciliation?


Coordinators: Paul Golomb, Bob Reiss

The Talmud is the opus magnum of Judaism as we understand it today. It is a massive work – over 2700 folio pages – representing more than 600 years of comprehensive Jewish thought. The course will introduce the world of Talmud and engage in a close reading of selected texts on such topics as Authority, Women, the Land of Israel, and Jewish relations with non-Jews, particularly Christians


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Jim Brook, Judy Weis

Advances in science uncover wonders that transform our lives and deepen our understanding of humanity, life, and the world around us. Science literacy is the key that opens doors to the extraordinary beauty of our natural world. This course will explore various pathways of scientific inquiry, their impacts and limits, and highlight some of the men and women responsible for ground- breaking research. In the fall 2021 term, with the Across the Universe course on a one-term break, we will be including several talks that address Earth’s immediate neighborhood and the further reaches of the observable universe. Prior knowledge or technical expertise in math or science is not required. Just bring your questions and sense of wonder.