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It's not the worst of times for best-selling author Steven Pinker

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PORTSMOUTH -- Cognitive scientist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Steven Pinker comes to The Music Hall with his latest New York Times bestseller, “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress."

His visit at the Chestnut Street theater at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, is part of the Writers on a New England Stage series. It will include an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s broadcast of “All Things Considered” and “The Bookshelf.”

“Enlightenment Now” rests on a stunning claim: Now are not the worst of times. In fact, people are living longer, healthier, freer and happier lives than ever. While our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Pinker champions the values that have helped humanity reach unprecedented heights.

Author Steven Pinker has another bestselling book on his mind

Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology and a Harvard College professor, chats about his latest bestseller in a Jan. 30 program at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. A scientifically optimistic take on life and progress, "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" champions the values that have helped humanity reach unprecedented heights.

Pinker is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching and books, he has been named one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential People and one of Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. His books include “The Stuff of Thought,” “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” “The Blank Slate” and “The Sense of Style.”

Tickets are $13.75. For each one to two tickets sold, the purchase of a book voucher ($18 for a paperback) is required; it can be redeemed for a signed copy of “Enlightenment Now” on the night of the event. For information, call 436-2400 or visit