Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and most recently, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
Credits: MIT Media Lab
There is plenty to criticize around. Many things could be done better and acknowledging error is the first step to correct it. But the fixes proposed by some critics too often would do away with the framework of Enlightenment-inspired ideas that make criticism an effective tool of progress. Pinker is a forceful advocate for those ideas, which he synthesizes into a reliance on reason, science, humanism, and human progress.