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Steven Pinker on The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker on The Better Angels of our Nature

by Steven Pinker

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This talk took place at the Royal Geographical Society on 1st November 2011.

Event info:

Can violence really have declined? The images of global conflict we see daily on our screens and the recent riots in the UK suggest this is an almost obscene claim to be making. Extraordinarily, however, in this riveting talk to accompany his new book The Better Angels of Our Nature US cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows violence within and between societies -- both murder and warfare -- has actually declined from prehistory to today.

Ranging over everything from art to religion, trade to table manners, Pinker shows how life has changed across the centuries and around the world -- not simply through the huge benefits of organized government, but also because of the extraordinary power of progressive ideas. Why has this come about? And what does it tell us about ourselves? It takes one of the world's greatest psychologists to have the ambition and the breadth of understanding to appreciate and explain this story, to show us our very natures.

Steven Pinker will be lecturing on the themes of his new book and then joined in conversation by the science writer Matt Ridley.

"Reading Pinker is one of the biggest favours I've ever done my brain" -- Richard Dawkins

"Steven Pinker's jeans and wild hair have made him academia's rock star but it is his incendiary ideas that get the crowds going" -- Bryan Appleyard in The Sunday Times

"Few academics come close to Steven Pinker in his grasp of image and imagery. With his trademark rockstar chic and an ear for a good soundbite, he has risen steadily to the top of the academic pile" -- John Crace in The Guardian


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