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The Better Angels of Our Nature

It seems that every time you open a newspaper or watch the nightly news, you you hear about a new tragedy, another symptom of an increasingly violent world. And yet, in the aftermath of many violent tragedies, there are no violent reprisals, no mobs out for vengeance. Instead there are candle-light vigils and memorial services. In his latest book, cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker explains that despite such acts of violence, we’re actually living in a period of extraordinary peace. Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, Pinker says we’re largely abiding by the better angels of our nature, and he joins us Monday to make his case. (Rebroadcast)


  • Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The New Republic, and is the author of eight books, including The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language [Amazon/Indiebound], The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature [Amazon/Indiebound], and most recently The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined [Amazon/Indiebound].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.