Join Alison Gopnik for an evening exploring how understanding babies’ and young children’s ability to acquire abstract knowledge has transformed how we view human nature itself.
Human beings have a longer childhood than any other animal, and during this childhood we are helpless and dependent. This long period of helplessness is responsible for our uniquely human consciousness and our ability to learn and imagine. Our long protected childhood gives us the opportunity to learn and play, which helps us plan and work as adults, and special features of our young brains give us remarkable learning abilities. In fact, even the youngest babies have learning abilities that are more powerful than those of the smartest scientists and most advanced computers.
Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. She received her BA from McGill University and her PhD. from Oxford University. She is an internationally recognized leader in the study of children's learning and development and was the first to argue that children's minds could help us understand deep philosophical questions. She is the author of over 100 journal articles and several books including "Words, thoughts and theories" (coauthored with Andrew Meltzoff), MIT Press, 1997, and the bestselling and critically acclaimed popular books "The Scientist in the Crib" (coauthored with Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl) William Morrow, 1999, and "The Philosophical Baby; What children's minds tell us about love, truth and the meaning of life" Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009. She has also written widely about cognitive science and psychology for Science, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, New Scientist and Slate, among others. And she has frequently appeared on TV and radio including "The Charlie Rose Show" and "The Colbert Report". She has three sons and lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Alvy Ray Smith.
Running. Some people love it, getting in the zone and enjoying that “runner’s high”. Some people tolerate it as a necessary way to stay fit. Others, and I admit I’m in this camp, can’t see the appeal, unless they’re being chased by some terrifying beast or a swarm of bees….
Why did humans become such efficient long-distance runners? How can runners avoid injury? Join Daniel Lieberman on July 28th for Being Human: Born and Evolved to Run and learn about the evolution of endurance running.