Steven A. Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard University, has received the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. He accepted the prestigious award at a ceremony produced by the Humanist Hub at the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics earlier in March. Pinker has worked with HCHAA and the Humanist Hub for several years and is a longtime friend of both organization. He introduced the first Cultural Humanism award twelve years ago.
The reception ceremony included the awarding and an hour-long presentation by Pinker himself; he drew from his most recently-released book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, for content. Outlining the themes of enlightenment—reason, science, humanism, and progress—Pinker espoused an optimistic portrayal of the future.
The two organizations at the heart of the event—the Humanist Hub and the HCHAA—aim to bring together atheists, agnostics, and other non-religious individuals, employing Humanism as an equalizing ideology.
Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is known best for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind; he specializes in visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He is the author of 16 books and has won several awards for his work. Pinker is on the advisory board of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Secular Coalition for America. In 2006, he received the American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year award for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution.