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Pinker and Grandin to lecture at UVa-Wise in Colgate Darden Lecture Series

Steven Pinker, a best-selling author and scientist, and Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who was the subject of an award-winning HBO film have been selected as the 2012 and 2013 speakers in the Colgate Darden Lecture Series at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Pinker will deliver the 2012 Colgate Darden Lecture on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.

He is the Johnston Professor of Psychology at Harvard and has also taught at Stanford and MIT.  One of the world’s leading cognitive scientists, Pinker translates groundbreaking research into writing that is accessible to the general reader.  His most recent book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” was named one of the 100 most notable books of 2011 by The New York Times.   His other works include “The Blank Slate” and “How The Mind Works,” both bestsellers and finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  Pinker’s acclaimed work on language includes “The Language Instinct,” “Words and Rules” and “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.“  

PinkerA native of Montreal, Pinker was recently named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”  Known for his verve, wit and profound ideas—many of them explained by referencing pop culture—Pinker helps non-specialists understand the science behind human thought and action.  He is a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Pinker has won a number of teaching prizes and was named among Newsweek’s “100 Americans for the Next Century.”  His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.

Pinker graduated from Dawson College in 1971.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology at McGill University in 1976 and earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Harvard University in 1979.  In 2006, Pinker received the American Humanist Association’s “Humanist of the Year” award for his contribution to public understanding of human evolution.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Temple Grandin will deliver the 2013 Colgate Darden Lecture.  Grandin is a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, where she conducts research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design.  Her book, “Animals in Translation,” was a New York Times bestseller.  Other popular books authored by Grandin are “Thinking in Pictures,” “ Emergence: Labeled Autistic,” “Animals Make us Human,” “Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach” and “The Way I See It.”

She has had a major impact on the meat and livestock industries worldwide, designing livestock facilities throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.  In North America, almost half of the cattle processing facilities include a center track retaining system that she designed for meat plants.

Grandin was born in Boston and diagnosed with autism as a child. 

GrandinShe obtained a bachelor’s degree at Franklin Pierce College in 1970.  In 1974, she was employed as livestock editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design.  In 1975, she earned a master of science degree at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes.  Grandin was awarded a Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

She has written several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, plus 63 refereed journal articles in addition to ten books. 

As a consultant, Grandin has worked with Cargill, Tyson, JBS Swift, Smithfield, Seaboard, Cactus Feeders and many other large companies.  Her company does design work for many ranches and has led to work with companies such as Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, Chipotle and McDonald’s Corporation, where she has trained auditors regarding animal care at processing plants. 

Both lectures are free to the public and will take place in the David J. Prior Convocation Center at UVa-Wise. The lectures are part of the college’s Colgate Darden Endowed Lecture Series.

For more information, contact Kathy Still, director of news & media relations, at (276) 376-1027 or