Why Things Get Better: Steven Pinker in Conversation with Jon Snow (HowTheLightsGetsIn)
Channel 4 front man interviews controversial Harvard intellectual Steven Pinker on his recent global bestseller Enlightenment Now
Following the international success of his latest book Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker argues for the power of reason, the decline of violence and the progress that science brings, in an exclusive interview with Jon Snow at HowTheLightGetsIn Festival London.
Steven Pinker rose to prominence with his theory of language, arguing that evolution can explain our species’ innate capacity for language. His book on the subject, The Language Instinct, became an instant international best-seller, shifted opinion and sparked renewed efforts to study the evolutionary origin of language. His latest work Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress has been hailed by Bill Gates as “the most inspiring book I’ve ever read”, but dismissed by philosopher John Gray as “unenlightened and embarrassing”.
“Pinker is at the forefront of an intellectual sea change” ~ TIME
Cross-examining Pinker on his work, critics and the ideas raised in Enlightenment Now will be legendary Channel 4 front man Jon Snow. An internationally renowned journalist and television presenter, Jon Snow is best known as the longest serving presenter of Channel 4 News, with numerous awards including Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year, and Presenter of the Year. He has travelled the world reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the inauguration of Obama, and is one of the few people to have declined an OBE, believing that working journalists should not take honours from those about whom they report. He has also taken a voluntary 25% pay cut in order to reduce the gender pay gap at Channel 4.
“[As journalists] our job is to give a voice to people with no voice” ~ Jon Snow
He engages Pinker in this exclusive head-to-head for a frank discussion of his work and its critics, exploring if, and how, the ideals of the Enlightenment could help us revise a better future. The event will address the questions:
- Has inequality, pain and suffering really reduced – or is that a Western delusion?
- Has the threat of terrorism really declined?
- Are we really happier than our ancestors?
Taking place 22 – 23 September in the spectacular gardens of Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, HowTheLightGetsIn will feature more than 150 events, including debates and talks, musicians and performers, comedy, workshops, documentaries and more.
Limited HowTheLightGetsIn Festival Tickets remain. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: https://howthelightgetsin.org/london