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The Power of Language with Lera Boroditsky

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
7:30pm Pacific Time
Venue: Herbst Theatre

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

Lera Boroditsky, Professor of psychology, neuroscience, and symbolic systems at Stanford University, claims that “different languages invite speakers to develop different cognitive skills.” In other words, the language we speak shapes the very thoughts we have. Controversial in the field of linguistics, Boroditsky is often called a neo-Whorfian for her embrace of Benjamin Whorf’s and Edward Sapir’s theories that language is integral to the formation of ideas and the evolution of culture. The connection between words and thoughts has long captivated poets, philosophers, and other thinkers. Boroditsky applies extensive scientific research to this relationship, supporting the notion that our cognitive process is fundamentally affected by the structure of language.