Steven Pinker on «The History of Violence»

- Contrary to the popular view that we are living in extraordinarily violent times, rates of violence at all scales have been in decline over the course of history, says Harvard University Professor Steven Pinker. He will explore how this decline could have happened despite the existence of a constant human nature in his lecture "The History of Violence" at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters on the 13th of March.  The occasion is the Academy Lecture in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Steven Pinker. Photo: Max GerberSteven Pinker. Photo: Max Gerber

Steven Pinker is a Harvard College Professor and 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 and Time, and is the author of eight books. His most recent book is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.

The Academy Lecture in Humanities and Social Sciences is just one of many events on the Academy's calendar this spring. At the Academy's annual meeting on May 3 Professor Rita R. Colwell, University of Maryland, will talk about Challenges and Opportunities in the Century of Biology. Rita Colwell has in her research focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health. She is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. Other interests include science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering.  

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awards the Abel Prize in mathematics and the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience. The winner of the 2012 Abel Prize will be announced by the Academy's President on March 21. The announcement will be filmed and can be viewed as a live webcast. The award ceremony will take place in the University Aula in Oslo on the 22nd of May.

The winners of the 2012 Kavli Prize will be announced by the Academy's President on May 31. The announcement will be filmed and transmitted live to New York where it will be part of the opening of the World Science Festival. The Kavli Prize will be presented to the laureates by HM King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo Concert Hall on September 4.


Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi
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The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: + 47 22 84 15 00
E-mail: post@dnva.no
Web editor: Anne-Marie Astad
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS