What shapes our views on violence?
And why do emotions rather than evidence win out?
Six years after the publication of his epic account of the historical decline of violence, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker returns to the topic to look at why so many people think that the world is in fact becoming more dangerous.
Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as Dr Pinker shows, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence. How did this happen, and what does the future hold?
This event will be chaired by Natasha Mitchell.
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on vision, language, and social relations 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 eight honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”
Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning ABC broadcaster and journalist, and host of the new podcast Science Friction.
This event is presented in partnership with The University of New South Wales and Macquarie Bank.