On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the University will again celebrate International Pronouns Day (IPD), a global initiative established in 2018 that seeks to make respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns a common occurrence. Referring to people by the pronouns they…
Arts and Sciences’ Milton First-Year Lecture presents Harvard linguist Steven Pinker Oct. 6
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“We are honored to present Steven Pinker, one of the great cognitive philosophers of our time,” says Arts and Sciences Dean George M. Langford. “His unique and interdisciplinary research embodies the spirit of the liberal arts, inspiring scientists and humanists alike.”
Since 2003, Pinker has doubled as the Harvard College Professor and as the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Before that, he held a variety of faculty posts at MIT, including director of the McDonnell-Pew Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1979.
Much of Pinker’s early work was in visual cognition—the ability to imagine shapes, to recognize faces and objects, and to direct attention within the visual field. In graduate school, he cultivated an interest in language, particularly language development in children, and this topic eventually overtook his research activities. He has since published hundreds of related articles, essays, and book chapters, and has authored seven award-winning books, including “The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature” (Viking, 2007) and “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature”
“Engaging with a world-renowned thinker such as Steven Pinker is a memorable way to begin one’s college career,” says Greenberg, adding that the program concludes with a Q&A session and author book-signing. “It’s one of the highlights of the academic year.”