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The Irrational Mind with Michael Lewis

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
7:30pm Pacific Time
Venue: Nourse Theater

This event appeared in the series
Conversations on Science & the Future

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies that unraveled our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations, and created a new field of study, behavioral economics. Their work went on to revolutionize Big Data studies, advance evidence-based medicine, and led to a new approach to government regulation. A seemingly unlikely duo, Kahneman and Tversky worked so closely together that they often could not remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. And yet they make one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science. Michael Lewis’ new book, The Undoing Project, tells a story about the workings of the human mind through the personalities of these two fascinating individuals. 

Michael Lewis is a best-selling author and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. Known for his meticulous research on far-reaching subjects, Lewis’ many books include Liar’s Poker, a semi-autobiographical account of Wall Street traders and salesmen; Moneyball, about Oakland A’s manager Billy Bean; The Big Short, about the housing and credit crisis of the 2000’s; the bestseller-turned-Hollywood-blockbuster The Blind Side;  Boomerang, a chronicle of the fiscal recklessness in both Europe and the U.S. that led to the current international debt crisis; and Flash Boys, in which Lewis reveals the top secret world of high frequency trading.

Jacob Ward is Al Jazeera‘s science and technology correspondent in the United States. The former editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine, Ward has written for The New Yorker, Wired, and Men’s Health. He’s currently at work on a book about the science of bias, and is the host of an upcoming four-hour television series about human decision-making and irrationality, due to air on public television in early 2018. His past interviews for City Arts & Lectures include godfather of the Internet Vinton Cerf, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, and psychologist Sherry Turkle.