Steven Pinker: Human Progress in light of Covid-19

via ZOOM

During this evening, Steven Pinker will join us live via Zoom. Join us, either in De Balie or via our livestream.

Programme editor
Rockstar cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker has been arguing for years that there is no better time to be born than the present time. But does his statistics-based optimistic message hold true in light of the impactful and unexpected Covid-19 crisis?

Award-winning Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker is known as one of the world’s most influential and optimistic public intellectuals. In recent years, his books The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011) and Enlightenment Now (2018) demonstrate, based on a wealth of statistics, that throughout history our societies have become significantly less violent and poor.

However, Pinker is a controversial figure. His critics warn that his theories paint a dangerously rosy picture of our world, lack attention for personal human suffering, and can be rebuked easily with ample counter evidence.

During this evening, Steven Pinker will join us live via Zoom make sense of our present corona-ridden world. We will discuss with him how to explain our response to Covid-19 from a psychological perspective, how the crisis lays bare our human limitations and to what extent Covid-19 will really prove to be a turning point for our societies.


De Balie Icons

In our series De Balie Icons, we warmly welcome renowned international thinkers to discuss global topical issues. A wide range of modern icons from all walks of life and fields of expertise take the stage in Amsterdam to share their valuable insights. Previously De Balie Icons featured these thought leaders: Kishore Mahbubani De (Singapore), Zineb El Rhazoui (France), Taiye Selasi (UK/US/Ghana/Nigeria), Mark Lilla (US) and Francis Fukuyama (US) and Mariana Mazzucato (Italy, UK).