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Dr. Steven Pinker to Speak at Otterbein University

January 20, 2012

Westerville, OH—Harvard University Professor Dr. Steven Pinker will speak at Otterbein University about "The History of Violence" at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. The lecture is sponsored by the Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture Series and the Otterbein University Science Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling the Box Office at (614) 823-1109. The Box Office is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.


"Steven Pinker tackles issues of tremendous range and complexity, from the nature of language and mind to the human genome and our propensity for violence, in a way that allows for informed public discourse," said Meredith Frey, assistant professor of psychology. "He is part scientist, part philosopher and incorporates important topics of the day into engaging books understandable to a general audience. Otterbein University’s curricular focus on interdisciplinary learning through our Integrative Studies program makes Dr. Pinker an ideal speaker for a lecture to our undergraduate student body."

While on campus, Dr. Pinker also will give a technical lecture to Otterbein science students and meet a group of psychology students.

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, a best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize finalist and a frequent guest on The Colbert Report. His most recent best-selling books include The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined and The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. His previous works include The Blank Slate and How The Mind Works, which were both Pulitzer Prize finalists. Dr. Pinker has been listed on TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People in The World," as well as on Foreign Policy’s list of "The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals." He has received awards and honors from the National Academy of Sciences, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. Read more about Dr. Pinker and his research at http://stevenpinker.com.

The Vernon L. Pack Scholar-in-Residence and Distinguished Lecture Series was established through a generous gift from alumnus Vernon L. Pack, a 1950 graduate of the College and resident of Westerville, Ohio. In accordance with the terms of the endowment, a Distinguished Lecturer visits the campus every other year to address important current issues that will allow the Otterbein community to reflect on ethical, spiritual and social issues. This program will rotate through the five academic divisions of the College, including arts, professional studies, science and mathematics, humanities and social sciences. On alternating years, distinguished scholars will be invited to campus to reside for up to one academic year as part of the Vernon L. Pack Scholar-in-Residence Series to enrich the educational experiences provided to Otterbein students.

The Science Lecture Series was created in 1987 to bring national experts on topics at the forefront of scientific research to campus to educate and enrich science majors and non-majors alike. Through annual seminars, national leaders in science and technology share their insights about the future of scientific endeavor. Past lectures have included The Galactic Center: Uncovering the Pulse of our Galaxy with Dr. Andrea Ghez; Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species with Dr. Sean B. Carroll; Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics? with Sir Anthony Leggett; and At the Crossroads of Science, Philosophy and the Arts with Dr. Alan Lightman. Speakers are chosen by a committee comprised of representatives from the departments of Chemistry, Equine Science, Psychology, Nursing, Physics and Astronomy, Life and Earth Sciences, and Mathematical and Computer Sciences. The Science Lecture Series is funded by the George W. and Mildred K. White Science Seminar Fund.

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