Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 5:00pm
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Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall 48 Quincy Street, Harvard

Science and Democracy with David Brooks: "Politics, the Brain, and Human Nature"


The Science and Democracy Lecture series welcomes David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times and a commentator on PBS NewsHour. He has previously worked for the Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek, The Atlantic Montly, and National Review. He has authored numerous books of cultural and political commentary, the most recent of which, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, was published in March 2011.

Brooks will speak on "Politics, the Brain, and Human Nature" with panelists:

Max Bazerman, Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
David Kennedy, Director, Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School
Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor, Department of Psychology
and moderator Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School

Abstract: For decades we have tried to increase high school graduation rates and college completions rates. We've tried to reduce the achievement gaps. We've tried to depolarize our economy and moderate the financial cycles. These and many other public policy efforts have produced disappointing results. This is in part because the policies were based on a partial view of human nature and a simplistic view of human capital. Neuroscientific research over the past few years has pointed toward a richer view, one in which our emotions and unconscious play a far more important role in everyday decision-making. It is time to apply the findings of science to the world of policy, morality, and practice.

This event is organized by the Program on Science, Technology, and Society, at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Graduate School of Design, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.  For more information on Science, Technology, and Society events at Harvard University, please visit: This lecture and discussion is free and open to the public.

Contact Name: 

Lisa Matthews

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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