20.05.2019

Inaugural ECOSOC Presidential Lecture “Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress in Creating the Future We Want”

WHAT

The President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), H.E. Inga Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), launched the ECOSOC Presidential Lecture series on 20 May 2019. Professor Steven Pinker joined the inaugural Presidential Lecture, focusing on “Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress in Creating the Future We Want”. The event took place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, 20 May 2019 in ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

WHO

This event gathered ECOSOC Members, as well as other Members and Observers to the United Nations, the United Nations system and civil society.

HOW

Professor Steven Pinker is a renowned psychologist, Harvard Professor and best-selling author. His most recent book  “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" and his lecture on “Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers” at TED generated discussion on issues pertinent to the work of the United Nations.

During the event, the President of the Economic and Social Council and the President of the General Assembly delivered remarks. This was followed by a presentation by Professor Pinker, and a dialogue between Professor Pinker and Her Excellency Ambassador H. Elizabeth Thompson, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations. The event also included an hour of interactive dialogue with Member States.

Statements/presentation/video

  • H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, President of the Economic and Social Council [Statement
  • H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly  [Statement
  • Professor Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University [Presentation
  • If you missed the event, you can watch the webcast