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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard's Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Pinker discusses the origins and evolution of his thinking on human nature. Topics include: growing up in Montreal in a Jewish family, the impact of the 1960s, his education, and the trajectory of his research interests. He explains his early work in linguistics and how he came to write his recent work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. In the conversation, Pinker describes the importance of interdisciplinary research and analyzes creativity. He concludes with a discussion of how science can contribute to the humanities and offers advice to students on how to prepare for the future. Recorded on 02/04/2014.

Jan Nederveen Pieterse in conversation with Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher and political commentator. Chomsky is Emeritus professor of linguistics at MIT. Jan Nederveen Pieterse is professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Eminent California historian Kevin Starr traces the emergence of San Diego's role in the distinctly Southern California aesthetic of "Mediterranean-ism," as seen in the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.

Joyce Maynard has been a writer of both fiction and nonfiction since the age of 18. Her memoir "At Home in the World" has been translated into fifteen languages. Her eight novels include the newly released "After Her," as well as "To Die For" and the New York Times bestseller, "Labor Day." In addition to writing, Maynard performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City, and is the founder of the Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) Writers' Workshop. Recorded on 10/09/2014.
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