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Steven Pinker

Harvard University

Steven Pinker is often hailed for his ability to use wit and pop culture to make arcane concepts of language and psychology accessible for non-academics. He is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has also taught at Stanford and MIT.

His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the American Psychological Association, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Pinker has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards, and numerous prizes for his seven books, which include The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He has served as honorary president of the Canadian Psychological Association and currently chairs the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. Pinker writes often for The New York Times, Time, The New Republic, and other publications. The American Humanist Association anointed him its Humanist of the Year in 2006. Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines twice included him in their joint list of “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” and Time magazine ranked him among “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” His most recent book is The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.