The Freedom Project at Wellesley College Presents Steven Pinker

February 18, 2015
Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker, one of the world’s most influential writers on the nature of language and the human mind, will speak at Wellesley on Wednesday, February 18. Presented by The Freedom Project as part of their spring series, Pinker’s lecture, “Three Reasons to Affirm Free Speech,” will take place at 8:00 PM in the Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall Ballroom. It is free and open to the public.

"The Freedom Project invites prominent speakers from a wide range of fields--scholars, activists, political leaders--who discuss a wide variety of themes related to freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights,” said Thomas Cushman, Deffenbaugh de Hoyos Carlson Professor in the Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Freedom Project.

“One of our more important issues is freedom of expression, which is increasingly under threat in the global context,” Cushman said. “Steven Pinker will address the threats to freedom of speech facing us at many different levels, especially in the contemporary university. He has been a leading voice in making the case for maximal freedom of expression as the essential precondition for the advancement of knowledge."

Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard, is an experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. His books include The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and most recently The Sense of Style. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won awards from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has been named a leading public intellectual by a number of magazines, including Time magazine, Foreign Policy, and Prospect magazine.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Knapp Social Science Center, the Department of Philosophy, and Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences,

-Nicole Tai ‘15 contributed to this report