Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein joined Twenty Summers cofounder Julia Glass for a day of conversations with writers on May 24, 2014.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is a philosopher and a novelist and the author of ten books. Her novels include The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics, and 36 Arguments for The Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. She is also the author of Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, named one of the best science books of 2005 by Discover magazine, and the award-winning Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Her latest book is Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. Goldstein has been received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 1996 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the “genius” prize. She has also been named the Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association and Free-thought Heroine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is visiting Professor of Philosophy at New College of the Humanities in London.
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received seven honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and often writes for the New York Times, Time, and the New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year and has appeared on such prominent lists as Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy‘s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time‘s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”