Thu, 13 October 2022

7:15 pm - 8:30 pm BST

Live and Online

Richard Dawkins Meets Steven Pinker

Live on Stage in London

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Two of the world’s most renowned scientists join us to explore the nature of reason and rationality in the age of fake news and conspiracy theories.

In the twenty-first century, humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding – and at the same time appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that discovered vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, quack cures and conspiracy theorising?

From The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker to The Blank Slate and Enlightenment Now, Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker have dedicated their lives to sharing their insights into what science and philosophy can tell us about human nature and the meaning and mystery of life.

Now they join us to debunk the cynical cliché that humans are an irrational species. Together, Richard and Steven will explore the powerful tools of reasoning that we have built up over millennia – and consider how rationality can lead to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere.

It’s an unmissable chance to hear from two of the most iconoclastic and distinguished thinkers of our time.

Praise for Steven Pinker’s Rationality:

‘Steven Pinker is the high priest of rationalism … [This book] is an impassioned and zippy introduction to the tools of rational thought … Pinker wants probability theory and psychological biases to be taught in schools and universities. Punchy, funny and invigorating, this could be the textbook.’ James McConnachie, Sunday Times

Rationality – like all of Pinker’s work – [is] a paean to human potential… what Pinker really trades in are profoundly refreshing, energising sets of explanations for why we do and think the way we do … harnessing reason is not just useful in all kinds of ways both personal and universal, but a wondrous property of being human.’ Zoe Strimpel, Daily Telegraph

‘Steven Pinker is among the best science writers in history, and with Rationality he applies his talents to one of the most important and misunderstood human abilities – tracking reality with a brain that was designed to do so under some circumstances but not others. If you’ve ever considered taking drugs to make yourself smarter, read Rationality instead. It’s cheaper, more entertaining, and more effective.’ Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern School of Business and author of The Righteous Mind

‘The Enlightenment torchbearer is eloquent in his defence of clear thinking … [reason] is a tool that human beings have to learn to use with care, something this book will help any reader to do.’ Julian Baggini, Financial Times

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Steven Pinker

Professor of Psychology, Harvard

Steven Pinker is an experimental cognitive scientist. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT.   He has won many prizes for his research, teaching, and his eleven books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and Enlightenment Now. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, one of Foreign Policy’s ‘World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals’ and Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World Today’.

Richard Dawkins

Scientist and Author

Richard Dawkins is author of The Selfish Gene, voted The Royal Society’s Most Inspiring Science Book of All Time, and also the bestsellers The Blind Watchmaker, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in the Dark. He is a Fellow of New College, Oxford and both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world’s top thinker in Prospect magazine’s poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.