Robert Burton
Renowned Neuroscientist and Author

In his compelling presentation, Robert Burton posits a revolutionary idea: despite how certainty feels, it is neither a conscious choice nor even a thought process.  Drawing from case studies and recent neuroscience advances, as well as such far-ranging subject material as the physics of baseball, high-stakes poker, and popular discussions of gut feelings and the nature of intuition, Burton challenges us to reexamine the theory that certainty and conviction are products of reason.  Burton’s revolutionary message carries wide-ranging implications on how we view the world.  He is a truly unique speaker.


A graduate of Yale University and the University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency, he was appointed, at age thirty-three, chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books, On Being Certain and A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind, and the neuroscience and culture column at, “Mind Reader.” He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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On Being CertainBelieving You Are Right Even When You're Not
St. Martin's Griffin

Bringing together cutting-edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain challenges what we know (or think we know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.

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A Skeptic's Guide to the MindWhat Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves
St. Martin's Griffin

In A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind, he brings together clinical observations, practical thought experiments, personal anecdotes, and cutting-edge neuroscience to decipher what neuroscience can tell us – and where it falls woefully short. At the same time, he offers a new vision of how to think about what the mind might be and how it works. A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind is a critical, startling, and expansive journey into the mysteries of the brain and what makes us human.

On Being Certain Burton discusses the implications of "certainty" in all aspects of our daily lives, from our personal relationships to the decisions we make at work, and offers a bold new look at why we should trust our instincts only to a certain degree.

Check out a NY Times piece by Robert Burton.

Learn more about Robert Burton here.