Steven Pinker to Deliver Keynote at MFSA’s 2024 Conference

Steven Pinker to Deliver Keynote at MFSA’s 2024 Conference

June 26, 2024

The MIT Free Speech Alliance is pleased to announce that Harvard University Professor Steven Pinker will deliver the keynote address at its 2024 conference. MFSA’s conference will be held at the Le Méridien Boston Cambridge hotel, adjacent to MIT’s campus, on Thursday, September 26, 2024. 

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. Pinker served on the MIT faculty for more than 20 years before moving in 2003 to Harvard University, where he is currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology. His many bestselling books include The Language Instinct, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of our Nature, The Sense of Style, Enlightenment Now, and, most recently, Rationality: What it is, Why it Seems Scarce, Why it Matters. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist whose many other honors include being named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

In addition to his renown as a psychologist, Pinker has long been among academia’s most outspoken and eloquent proponents for free inquiry. Pinker is a co-founder of the Council on Academic Freedom at Harvard, a faculty-led coalition defending free inquiry, intellectual diversity, and civil discourse at Harvard and a model of faculty leadership on free expression in an era where such interests have too often been usurped by top-heavy administrations and illiberal activists. 

“We’re delighted to host Professor Pinker at our conference this year,” said Wayne Stargardt ‘74, MFSA’s President. “With his many years on the MIT faculty and his national leadership for the cause of free expression in higher education, we know that his message to the MIT community members at our conference will be well placed, and well received.” 

After a difficult year for free expression at MIT and throughout higher education, MFSA’s 2024 conference aims to highlight the work being done to turn the corner at MIT through the various efforts of MIT’s leadership, faculty, students, and alumni. MFSA will share additional information on speakers and panelists at this year’s conference over the course of the summer. 

More information on MFSA’s conference is available on our website, and our conference page will be regularly updated through the summer. Those interested in learning more about MFSA’s conference are encouraged to email Executive Director Peter Bonilla.  

The MIT Free Speech Alliance (MFSA), with over 1,100 members, was founded by MIT alumni in 2021 following the cancellation of Dorian Abbot’s Carlson Lecture. MFSA is a member of the Alumni Free Speech Alliance, whose more than two dozen affiliate groups include organizations at Cornell, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Virginia, among other institutions. MFSA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and is independent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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