Curious Children, Wise Elders: How Childhood and Elderhood, Together, are the Key to the Evolution of Human Cognition and Culture
Date: Tuesday, April 6th
Time: noon -1 pm
Place: via Zoom
Across many species an extended childhood and high caregiving investment appear to be correlated with intelligence and learning. Humans evolved an exceptionally long childhood and old age, and an unusually high level of caregiving, at the same time that they evolved distinctive capacities for cognition and culture. Dr. Gopnik will explain how these two developments are related, the relationship between children and grandparents, in particular, is key to human culture.
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 a world leader in cognitive science, particularly the study of children’s learning and development. She is the author of over 120 journal articles and several books including the bestselling and critically acclaimed popular books “The Scientist in the Crib” 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 and “The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children” Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2016. She is a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
She writes the Mind and Matter science column for the Wall Street Journal, and she has also written widely about cognitive science and psychology for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, New Scientist, Slate, and The New Yorker among others. She has frequently appeared on TV and radio including “The Charlie Rose Show”, “The Colbert Report” “Radio Lab” and “The Ezra Klein Show”. Her TED talk has been seen over 4.5 million times. She has three sons and four grand-children and lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Alvy Ray Smith.