Rosalind Picard – Woman of Faith and Science

Rosalind Picard 1962- USA

Rosalind Picard is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, director and also the founder of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Things That Think Consortium, and chief scientist and co-founder of Affectiva.

Picard says that she was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. She does not believe there is a separation of the "material body and immaterial spirit" but that there is "something else that we haven’t discovered yet", and believes "that scientists cannot assume that nothing exists beyond what they can measure." She believes it likely that there is "still something more" to life, beyond what we have discovered, and sees DNA as too complex to have originated through "purely random processes". To her, the complexity of DNA shows "the mark of intervention," and "a much greater mind, a much greater scientist, a much greater engineer behind who we are."

She sees her religious beliefs as playing a role in her work in affective computing, and explains that when "Digging into the models of how the emotions work, I find I feel even greater awe and appreciation for the way we are made, and therefore for the Maker that has brought this about."

Picard is one of the signatories of the Discovery Institute‘s A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution.

Although her view about the complexity of DNA "sounds similar to the intelligent design debate", reporter Mirko Petricevic writes, "Picard has some reservations about intelligent design, saying it isn’t being sufficiently challenged by Christians and other people of faith." She argues that the media has created a false dilemma by dividing everyone into two groups, supporters of intelligent design or evolution. "To simply put most of us in one camp or the other does the whole state of knowledge a huge disservice," she said.

See her

and her story of Test of Faith Rosalind lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and three energetic sons. She is co-founder of the MIT Graduate Christian Fellowship and is an active speaker at science and faith events, including Veritas forums. She interacts regularly with industry and has consulted for companies such as Apple, AT&T, BT, HP, i.Robot, and Motorola.


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