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Steven Pinker, an acclaimed cognitive psychologist and best-selling science writer, first rose to prominence with his theory that evolution can explain our species’ innate capacity for language. His book on the subject, The Language Instinct, became an international bestseller, shifted opinion and sparked renewed efforts to study the evolutionary origin of language. In recent years, he has become a torch-bearer of Enlightenment values, arguing for the power of reason, the decline of violence and the progress that science brings. His latest book, Enlightenment Now, defends the idea that reason drives history forward, and that the principles of science and humanism are directly enhancing the quality of life for everyone – not just those in the West.
Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, is an experimental cognitive scientist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature. His award-winning books include 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 and has been named Humanist of the Year and among Prospect magazine’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers” and Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He is a longtime Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
"The greatest practical challenge is avoiding catastrophic climate change. The greatest moral and political challenge is defending the Enlightenment ideals of reason, science, humanism and progress."
– Steven Pinker