Steven Pinker
Biographical Information: Click on drawing

Recent books: Click on cover


* Selected Articles in Magazines and Newspapers

* Lectures

* Current and Pending Media Events

* Teaching

* Research

* Recent media profiles

* Films

Biographical Information:

Steven Pinker is Peter de Florez Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Biographical sketch

Curriculum Vitae

Summary of Current Research

 There is an Unofficial Web Page about Steven Pinker maintained by Gen Kuroki. It contains reviews and discussions of The Language Instinct, abstracts of Pinker's articles in professional journals, and other sources.

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Selected Articles in Magazines and Newspapers:

The Game of the Name,” New York Times, April 3, 1994.

Grammar Puss,” The New Republic, January 24, 1994.

Chasing the Jargon Jitters,” TIME, November 13, 1995.

Evolutionary Psychology: Letter on Stephen Jay Gould’s `Darwinian Fundamentalists’,” New York Review of Books, October 9, 1997.

Against Nature,” Discover, October 1997.

The Brain’s Versatile Toolbox,Natural History, 106, September, 1997.

Can a Computer Be Conscious?” US News and World Report, August 18/25, 1997.

How Much Art Can the Brain Take?” The Independent on Sunday, February 7, 1998.

Presidents Behaving Badly.” The New Yorker, February 9, 1998.

Listening Between the Lines,” New York Times, October 7, 1998.

Racist Language, Real and Imagined.” New York Times, February 2, 1999.

The Seven Wonders of the World,” Convocation Address, Faculty of Science, McGill University, June 7, 1999.

His Brain Measured Up,” New York Times, June 24, 1999.

Horton Heared a Who! TIME, Nov. 1, 1999,

Regular Habits”, Times Literary Supplement, Oct. 29, 1999,

There Will Always be an English,” New York Times, Dec. 24, 1999.

The Irregular Verbs,” Landfall, March 2000.

Will the Mind Figure out How the Brain Works?TIME, April 3, 2000.

Survival of the Clearest,” Nature, 404, 441-442.

Life in the Fourth Millennium,Technology Review, May/June 2000.

Review of J. Glover’s “Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century,” New York Times Book Review, Oct. 29, 2000.

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Public Lectures:

Steven Pinker is represented by the David Lavin Agency, Ltd., 1-800-762-4234.

Sept 6 – 9.. “Words and Rules in the Brain.” Conference on Architectures of the Mind, Architectures of the Brain. Jubilee Days, Vatican City.

Oct 6, 1PM. Panel on Human Nature with Noam Chomsky and Hilary Putnam, 50th Anniversary Celebration, School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, MIT, Wong Auditorium, E51, MIT.

Oct. 10, 6PM. Panel discussion with Robert Pinsky and Wendy Kaminer on the English Language, in connection with the publication of the Fourth Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. Sackler Museum, Harvard University.

Oct. 14, 4PM. “The Blank Slate, the Noble Savage, and the Ghost in the Machine.” Positive Psychology Summit 2000, Gallup Headquarters, Washington DC.

Oct. 16, 3PM. “Words and Rules.” New Jersey City University, Jersey City NJ.

Oct 19 – 21. “The Blank Slate, the Noble Savage, and the Ghost in the Machine” Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, NY.

Nov. 9, 4PM. “Words and Rules.” Bolt, Beranek, & Newman/GTE, Cambridge, MA.

Nov. 13, 8PM, “Words and Rules” (Herzberg Lecture). Bell Theater, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

Nov. 15, 7PM, “The American Conversation,” panel discussion on current issues, McCormack Institute of U Mass Boston. Omni Parker House, Boston.

Dec. 5, 7PM, “Words and Rules,” Barnes and Noble/Boston University Bookstore, Kenmore Square, Boston.

Dec. 6, 7PM, “Words and Rules,” Harvard Coop, Harvard Square.

Feb 19, 2001, 7:30 PM, “Words and Rules.” Claremont McKenna College, Los Angeles area.

Feb 28, 2001, 8PM. “Words and Rules” (Ireland Lecture). University of Alabama at Birmingham.

April 19 – 22 (time and day TBA), “Words and Rules.” Invited lecture, Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

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Current and Pending Media Events:

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Professor Pinker is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, 2000-2010.

* Introduction to Psychology, Fall Semester, MIT: Web Page

* Evolution of Cognition, Alternate Spring Semesters, MIT: 1999 Syllabus

* Other graduate courses and seminars: MIT graduate students only.


Among Prof. Pinker’s research projects are The MIT Twins Study and other studies of language,  its development, and its neural bases. This research uses regular (walk-walked) and irregular (come-came) inflection as well-matched and easily studied examples of the two main components of language: combinatorial grammar and memorized words. Click here for a recent bibliography of this research.

* Summary of research.

* MIT Twins Study: Web Page. Follow this link if you are interested in language in twins, or if you are a parent of twins and might be interested in participating in the study.

* MIT/KIT Magnetoencephalography Laboratory

Click here for resources in Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Linguistics.

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Recent Media Profiles:

Cover story, Maclean’s (Canada’s newsmagazine), May 1, 2000. 

Interview by John Koch, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Jan 23, 2000.

“Steven Pinker: The Mind Reader,” Profile in The Guardian, November 6, 1999.

“Gould, Pinker, Lewontin, Wilson: Who’s the Fittest Evolutionist of them All?,” Lingua Franca, Nov. 1999.

“Pinker on the Brain,” profile in Scientific American, July 1999.

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Films featuring Steven Pinker:

How the Mind Works and Steven Pinker: In Depth. Filmed lecture and interview. Click here for the brochure text.  Into the Classroom Media, 10573 W. Pico Blvd. #162, Los Angeles CA 90064. 800-732-7946

The Seven Wonders of the World II. One of seven half-hour BBC programs in which a scientist or author describes seven wonders of the world. Christopher Sykes Productions.

Me and Isaac Newton. Feature film on seven scientists. Clear Blue Sky Productions.