Oliver Burkeman is a British journalist based in New York and the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian on psychology, self-help and the science of happiness.
Oliver conducted an in-depth interview with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker for Mosaic.
What makes Steven Pinker an interesting subject for you?
I'm fascinated by his attempt to restore some notion of human nature to the study of psychology – and in a way that doesn't automatically lead to fatalism or reactionary politics. Actually, I instinctively disagree with quite a few of his positions, but that always makes for a better interview from my perspective. I get to say: 'Go on, persuade me!'
What was the most striking thing for you from the interview?
To be honest, probably just the sheer number of domains in which he's extremely well versed and up to date. One doesn't necessarily expect a leading cognitive psychologist to be quite so proficient in geology, medieval history or political theory.
Read In conversation with… Steven Pinker on Mosaic, publishing 4 March 2014.