Humanism and Human Progress

Sara Ben-Isaac's picture
February 17, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Intellectual History, Jewish History / Studies


Steven Pinker (Harvard University)

Chair: Mark Geller (UCL)


Professor Pinker will discuss human progress, material and moral, and its relation to humanism and Judaism, with reference to some of the themes that engaged Lord Sacks in his life and career.

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He 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 InstinctHow 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, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, 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 TimesThe Guardian, and other publications. His tenth book, published in February 2018, is called Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
Contact Info: 

UCL Institute of Jewish Studies

Contact Email: