Steven Pinker


Professor Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who has done research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations.

Steven Pinker grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today”. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications.
(photo credit Rose Lincoln / Harvard University)

Evening plenary session: Human Progress and Enlightenment Environmentalism

When we quantify human well-being, we find that life has become longer, healthier, richer, safer, more peaceful, and more stimulating. Now our world is starting to become cleaner and greener as well. This progress is a gift of the Enlightenment mindset — problems are solvable, given the right knowledge.