Our featured speaker at this year’s Bigelow Forum was Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. Most of his ten books have been New York Times Bestsellers, including his latest work called Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, and Progress. This book has turned out to be very provocative, inspiring lots of vigorous discussion at writers’ forums around the country and at the Bigelow Forum itself.
After Pinker’s brief presentation, he and I sat down and had this interview for an hour, including taking audience questions. We discuss his inspiration for writing this work in the first place, and some of the arguments that have been made by readers, thinkers, academics, and politicians for or against his thesis. His answers are quite personal and entertaining. I even gave him a quiz on some famous psychologist quotes…the results of which turned out to be quite surprising.
As with all of our podcast interviews, this one was unscripted, spontaneous, unedited. Steven Pinker did not know what my, or the audience questions were going to be. You may hear a bit of background noise since it was recorded in front of a live audience at the Bigelow Forum.
I hope you enjoy it.