Steven Pinker

presents

Enlightenment Now:
The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

in conversation with CHRISTOPHER LYDON

This event includes a book signing

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
There will be a standby line at the door

Date

Feb
28
Wednesday
February 28, 2018
7:00 PM
(Doors at 6:00)

Location

First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.

Harvard Book Store, WBUR, and Mass Humanities welcome acclaimed linguist, cognitive scientist, and award-winning author STEVEN PINKER for a discussion of his latest book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. He will be joined in conversation by Radio Open Source's CHRISTOPHER LYDON.

About Enlightenment Now

The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature—tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking—which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. 

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

Praise

“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I’ve ever read.” —Bill Gates

Christopher Lydon
Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon is the host of Radio Open Source. He covered politics for The New York Times from the Washington bureau in the 1970s. He hosted The Ten O’Clock News on WGBH TV through the 1980s, and he co-founded and hosted The Connection on WBUR in the ’90s. He recorded the original podcast in 2003 with Dave Winer.

Steven Pinker
Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books, he has been named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers.

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.

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Co-Sponsored by WBUR

90.9 WBUR-FM is Boston’s NPR news station and the home of nationally syndicated programs, providing listeners with thorough coverage of local, national and international news from NPR, Public Radio International and the BBC, in addition to its own locally produced content. Learn more at wbur.org/.

Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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