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Adam Smith Lecture 2019 with Professor Steven Pinker

  • The Cholmondeley Room and Terrace at Parliament Houses of Parliament Westminster, London United Kingdom (map)

Our annual Adam Smith Lecture showcases pre-eminent modern thinkers who continue to advance the ideas of Adam Smith.

This year’s speaker, Harvard University Professor and best selling author Steven Pinker, will be speaking on “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.” The talk will be based on his acclaimed 2018 book of the same name, described by Microsoft founder Bill Gates as his “new favourite book of all time.”

Pinker will argue that, despite fear-mongering and political upheaval, the world is getting better: peace, prosperity, knowledge, and happiness are all on the rise. He will make the case for reason, science, and humanism. These Enlightenment ideals, in the face of tribalism, authoritarianism, and other modern dangers to democracy, are worth celebrating—and protecting.

Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his ten books, including The Blank Slate and The Better Angels of Our Nature. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

Following the lecture, we will be holding a panel discussion and Q&A on the opportunities and challenges facing the United Kingdom in the future, chaired by myself. Professor Pinker will be joined on the panel by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP and the Viscount Ridley.

He will be addressing an invitation-only select group of MPs, Lords, ASI supporters, academics and journalists.